If you break your own hymen, will having sex for the first time hurt less/eliminate blood?

Q: If you break your own hymen, will having sex for the first time hurt a little less/will it eliminate blood? And is it possible to break your hymen with your fingers?

You guys know how we love to bust a good myth. And man, there are about a billion myths surrounding the hymen.

Let’s start off by defining this mysterious body part: The hymen (which some people call “the cherry”) is a thin, fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the opening of the vagina. It’s located about 1-2 centimeters inside of the vaginal opening, not deep inside the vagina (myth #1).

The hymen, which some people call the “cherry,” has tons of myths associated with it

Like all body parts, every woman’s hymen looks different. Scarleteen does a great job of describing it: “It consists of thin folds of mucous tissue, which may be tightly or more loosely folded. It is slightly pink, almost transparent, but if it’s thicker it may look a little paler or whitish. It may resemble the petals of a rose or other flower, it may be carnation-shaped, or it may look like a jigsaw piece or a half-moon. In the vast majority of cases, it is elastic and stretchy.”

Ok, now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s tackle the first part of your question: “If you break your own hymen, will having sex for the first time hurt less?” Myth #2 is that there’s a need to break the hymen, or that it will “pop.” The hymen stretches through numerous activities like riding a bicycle, doing gymnastics, using tampons, using sex toys, masturbating, and yes, vaginal intercourse. For some women, these same activities can tear the hymen and this can cause bleeding.

Whether or not sex will hurt for the first time varies from person to person. It has a lot to do with how turned on you are. Foreplay plays a huge role in this, so make sure you’re having some before diving right into sex.

As far as pain, this too is different for each woman. Some women experience pain the first time, some do not. Some women bleed the first time, some do not.

For more hymen myths, check out this great video by Laci Green:

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

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