My boyfriend and I have been away at separate schools for the past three months and just this weekend he came to visit. We had sex and I started bleeding pretty early on. This has happened before, but to a very small degree and tended to happen if he went deeper than usual. However, those times there was only a small amount of blood... This time I bled so much it soaked through my sheet and covered a good 5 inch diameter area on my sheet. Clearly, there was a significant amount of blood. Is there a chance that this occurred simply because we had not been sexually active for a few months? Also, we began having sex before I was really wet, so there could have been a lot of friction while he entered me? I take birth control and do not have any STD's. Neither does my boyfriend. We are each other's first partners. Thank you for any advice or help you can give me. P.S. I only bled the first two times we had sex this weekend. The third time there was no blood loss.
First of all, if I were bleeding and experiencing pain, the first thing I’d do is see my gynecologist. What are you waiting for? It can only help to find out if you have any medical condition that’s causing pain. Also check with your gynecologist to find out if the birth control pills you're taking are associated with vaginal dryness. Some are; some aren't, and it's important to find out whether this is the case.
I think it's pretty clear that your bleeding is being caused by your boyfriend thrusting too vigorously and too deeply. Combine that with the possibilty that you're having penis-vagina sex before you're turned on and lubricated enough, and you have a recipe for disaster.
It’s possible that your vaginal muscles are quite tight and are clenching up when anything nears your vagina. Many women have experienced pain and/or tightening of the vagina. When the vagina involuntarily tightens, it’s a condition called “vaginismus.” But not to worry, it’s not the result of any permanent physiological condition, and it’s entirely reversible.
Women experience this tightening up because of fear and anxiety. I’m wondering if you’ve received messages that sex is somehow dirty, harmful or wrong. Or whether you’ve experienced something traumatic in your past that is causing you to fear penetration. It can be difficult to truly let go of negative messages about sex as well as past fears unless you have an opportunity to talk about them and process the experience so you can move past it.
Another possibility is that you’ve somehow gotten the idea that penis-vagina sex (p-v) is going to be painful or invasive (which it COULD be, if you’re not turned on or lubricated). Once these ideas take over, you may not even realize you’re having them, but they’re lurking somewhere in the back of your mind and doing their damage. Since you said you’re dry, then this could be a self-fulfilling prophesy: you’re worried about pain, so you can’t relax and get turned on and wet, which, indeed, will cause pain. Please DO NOT ever have any kind of insertive sex unless you’re very turned on. Sometimes, people rush toward what they consider “the main event” without realizing that a) sex should not have a goal; all touch can be pleasurable, and b) any kind of penetration can be painful if you’re not sufficiently turned on.
Another possible factor: What were the conditions like when you were being sexual? Did you have enough privacy? Were you relaxed and happy? If not, these factors might have contributed to your discomfort and tightening up as well.
There are various other possible psychological/emotional factors too numerous to detail here. These include fear of intimacy, fear of men, unresolved anger, feeling conflicted about a relationship, etc.
In addition, if your partner had little or no sexual experience, he might not have been aware that both of you need to be very turned on before p-v sex, and that it takes time. You need lots of touching, kissing, etc. and whatever else turns you on.
Before attempting p-v again, it will be helpful to start with something small, like a finger, inserted just a teeny bit at a time to see how it feels and build comfort. You can do this during self-pleasuring. Here are the steps: Once you’re very aroused, just touch the outside of your vagina. See how that feels. Breathe. Once that feels OK, then try putting a finger just a tiny bit inside, and again evaluate the feeling and breathe. You get the picture: break it down into small steps, and stop when you’re feeling anxious. Give yourself permission to go very slowly.
Realize that it takes time to relax and learn about your body and its responses. But anything worthwhile takes a little time and practice, no? If after slowing down, letting yourself get turned on and lots of practice, you find you’re still tightening up, you might consider seeing a counselor to examine your fears. Good luck to you. Dr. J
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