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Natalie wrote in recently with the following question:

This is regarding one of my friends. when she and her boyfriend were making out, his penis had penetrated just a little into her vagina, there was NO bleeding at that time, but later that day she discovered some (very little) blood on her underwear, (but it was the last day of her period).

She is confused now whether it was the virginity which broke or its a part of her period because she has not started to bleed at the time the penetration occurred, plus the whole penis had not entered. And she wants to know how much blood actually goes out. Because she bled just a little.

Does the bleeding occur after some time after the penetration or at the exact time? Please be kind enough to help her out in this matter.

Natalie, thanks very much for writing in to help your friend — she’s lucky to have a friend like you!

To be honest, it’s difficult or impossible to know whether the type of bleeding you describe is caused by her period or by her hymen tearing a little. (A hymen can tear partially even if the penis doesn’t penetrate at all.) But the good news is that it’s not really important which of these two factors is causing the bleeding. To continue answering this question, here’s an excerpt from my book, The Guide to Losing Your Virginity.

The hymen

As you learned earlier in this guide, the hymen is a soft piece of tissue that partially covers the vaginal opening of most girls who have not had sexual intercourse.

Interestingly, most people are under the mistaken impression that the hymen is located inside the vagina. Maybe that’s because it gets called a cherry – so people assume it’s some cherry-like object hiding in there.

It’s not! A hymen is easy to spot if you know what to look for. Essentially, a woman with an intact hymen is likely to have an extremely small vaginal opening – too small to fit a couple of fingers into. The hymen is the pinkish ring of delicate tissue surrounding this little opening. When this tissue gets torn, the opening gets expanded to the point where a penis can fit into the vagina.

Almost every girl is born with a hymen. Some girls are born with no hymen at all, while others are born with what is called an “imperforate” hymen, meaning that it actually doesn’t have any opening at all. (Girls born with this rare condition must have their hymen surgically “perforated” after birth to avoid complications later.)

A hymen isn’t simply “intact” or “broken” – it can be partially broken too. For most women, this means that your hymen will actually tear on multiple occasions! So for example, your hymen might tear a little when you go horseback riding as a girl. Then a few years later, when you’re experimenting with inserting a finger or two into your vaginal opening, you might tear it a little more. And the first time you have sex, it might tear some more.

It is normal for some women to bleed while having sex for the first time, or for a little bit afterward. This is caused by the hymen stretching until it tears.

This blood will be bright red in color at first, and will turn to a darker red as it slows down. It should stop soon after you stop having sex. It may happen a few more times over the next few days, especially when you’re active, but within a few days, there should be no more episodes of bleeding.

You should see a health care provider for a check-up if:

  • There is significant bleeding. If it’s heavier than the bleeding you experience during the first few days of your period (for example, if it soaks through a tampon and a pad after you’ve finished having sex), you’re experiencing more bleeding than is usual for losing your virginity.
  • Bleeding lasts for more than a few days.
  • There is pain that does not go away. It’s normal for it to sting a bit during your first time, and you may feel sore, tender, and “stretched” afterward. If there is considerable pain for any length of time after sex, you should look into it.
  • You’re worried about something. If anything seems unusual and worries you, why not go see your health care provider? They can really put your mind at ease.

In order to heal after your first time, it’s important not to have any vaginal penetration (no penises, fingers, tampons, etc.) until after the bleeding has completely stopped. If bleeding returns after you start having sex again, then go to a health care provider for a check-up.

Natalie, the blood your friend is mentioning could be caused either by her period or by a small tear in her hymen. As long as it stopped appearing within a few days, everything should be fine, though if she has any concerns, she shouldn’t hesitate to get a check-up with her family doctor.

Finally, if your friend and her boyfriend continue finding it difficult to make full penetration happen, please do let her know that they should NEVER try to force it, as this can lead to injuries and an all-around difficult time for everyone. With a little knowledge and the right kind of foreplay, she should be able to easily take him in with a minimum of discomfort so the sex feels great right from the start.

My book covers all the basics anyone needs to have great sex, from knowing you’re ready to getting comfortable together to having foreplay and sex that’s comfortable, safe, and intimate. And I guarantee it will make your first time great — if it doesn’t for any reason, just email me and I’ll refund you right away, no questions asked. No time limit. So why not get a copy risk-free today? 🙂

Remember: sex is about sharing pleasure. If it doesn’t feel good, stop — and if it DOES feel good, well, keep it up!

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