Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on September 9, 2011

Is it normal to bleed after sex...the first time?

I bled excessively after having sexual intercourse for the first time...is this normal?

answered by
Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 9, 2011

Thank you for sharing your question with us.

First, it’s completely normal to bleed after your first sexual experience. Most women’s vaginas are covered by a membrane called the hymen. When you first have sex (or through rigorous athletic or other physical activities), the hymen breaks, which can cause bleeding for a day or two.

If you continue to bleed after a couple days, it may be due to continued vaginal intercourse, which could cause irritation. If you stop having intercourse for a few days, the bleeding should go away...if not, be sure to see your doctor for a full examination.

Now that you’re sexually active, one word of caution: every time you start a new sexual relationship, it’s a good idea for both people in the relationship to get tested for common sexually transmitted diseases (STD)...just so you know each other’s status, and whether either of you needs treatment, or if other precautions are necessary to keep you both safe and healthy.

And unless you’re in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone whose STD status you know, it’s a good rule of thumb to use latex condoms and dental dams during all sexual activity. In fact, according to a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, condoms are one of the most effective ways to prevent STDs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even incorporated condoms as an essential component in its public health strategies to prevent STDs.

For more information about how to practice safer sex, you might want to see our Prevention + Safer Sex Overview.

Thanks again for your question, and I wish you good luck and good sexual health.

Related info:

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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