When a woman experiences pain during sex for the first time, it could be because of a variety of factors. If your hymen is still intact, you may experience pain and a bit of bleeding as it stretches during intercourse.

The hymen is a thin tissue that may either partially or fully cover the entrance of the vagina. It has an opening that varies in size and can be thick or thin. The more stretchy the hymen is, the less painful the first sex is. If the hymen is not stretchy enough, first sex may hurt a bit and bleed a little. This is the most common source of first-time sex pain for women.

Women are sometimes concerned that their partner’s penis may be too large and that this is why they’re in pain. Although this is possible, it’s very rare. The average penis size is about five to seven inches long when erect, and the vagina is typically between three and seven inches long. The vagina can stretch high and wide during sex and childbirth, so a too-large penis is usually not the cause of pain.

Another common cause of pain or discomfort is when the penis is deep in the vagina and makes contact with the cervix. This may feel more uncomfortable than painful but usually can be easily resolved by trying a different sex position.

Other common reasons that women experience pain during or after sex include infection (a sexually transmitted infection, for example), vaginismus, allergic reaction to condoms or lubricants, and menopause.

Will I bleed during vaginal sex?

Bleeding the first time is normal, but there likely won’t be a lot of blood, so don’t freak out. Some people bleed, others don’t. You’re more likely to bleed if your hymen hasn’t been broken. For some people with vaginas, they break their hymen doing very normal things like riding a bike, doming gymnastics, or riding a horse. You have to remember that you’re putting something inside you that had never been inside you before, so the stretching can cause some very minor tearing. The best way to avoid bleeding is by using a water-based lube and a well-lubricated condom.

How to lose your virginity without pain

There are many reasons why some people may experience pain during sexual intercourse. Some tips that may help avoid this include:

• Going slowly: A slower pace allows the body to adjust to the sensations and makes it easier to communicate about what specifically feels good and what does not.

• Using plenty of lubrication: Even if a person is very aroused, they might not produce enough lubrication, particularly if the sex lasts for a long time. As the anus does not produce its own lubrication, people who have anal sex will need more lubricant.

• Trying different positions: Sometimes, the angle of penetration causes pain, such as by hitting the cervix or irritating sensitive skin.

• Talking about consent and comfort: All participants should fully consent to each activity and agree that sex stops if anyone feels pain or does not want to continue.

• Including lots of foreplay: Foreplay helps relax the muscles, and it can also produce more vaginal lubrication, making sex more comfortable.

• Taking care of any chronic pain or other symptoms: Yeast infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and injuries to the genitals can all make sex intensely painful. People who experience pain, burning, or itching should see a doctor before trying to have sex.

• Understanding basic anatomy: Many people focus on penetrative vaginal intercourse, but research

If you’re going to have vaginal sex

For many people, having penetrative vaginal intercourse for the first time is synonymous with the loss of virginity. Tense pelvic floor muscles, anxiety, lack of lubrication, and pressure on the hymen can all cause pain. People can make vaginal sex more comfortable by:

• using clitoral stimulation to increase pleasure and relax tense muscles
• using lubrication, especially if sex lasts a long time
• going slowly and changing positions if initial penetration hurts

Tips for oral sex

Oral sex does not typically hurt, and it may also provide some additional lubrication. If oral sex does hurt, it may be because a person has a wound on their genitals or an infection, such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Sometimes, too much stimulation of the head of the penis or clitoris can be painful. If this is the case, people should talk about what hurts and try changing the position, technique, or speed.


Many people may believe that losing their virginity will hurt, but it does not need to be painful. Open communication, clear consent, and a slow, deliberate approach can make the first time more pleasurable.

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