Any truth to the rumour?
Is it true that a girl bleeds the first time she has sex?
When women have penetrative sex for the first time it can sometimes be uncomfortable. Some women do bleed a little bit if the hymen (a small piece of thin skin which covers some of the opening of the vagina) is still intact, as it will break the first time they have sexual intercourse. This doesn't happen to all women because the hymen may already have broken before sex, e.g. by using tampons or though sports.
Deciding to have sex for the first time is a very big decision and most people will remember their first time. There is a lot to think about, including whether you are ready emotionally and how to make sure you're protected from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Having sex for the first time will mean different things to different people. It's natural to worry or feel anxious about having sex for the first time. Some people do not feel nervous and that's fine too.
First time penetrative sex may not be perfect and no one is expected to know how to do this if they have not done it before. Learning to feel more relaxed and confident takes time and practice. People will enjoy different experiences at different times, so what might feel good to one person might not to someone else. Sex is likely to be a more positive experience if you're able to discuss with the other person what you both like, or what you think you would like if you're not sure.
It's important not to feel pressurised into doing something you're not comfortable with and you have every right to wait until you feel ready to have sex. Having sex can involve getting closer to someone physically and emotionally so you need to feel happy and able to talk openly with that person about:
- what feels good for both of you;
- which contraception you're planning to use;
- what you are prepared to do or not do at this stage;
- any anxiety you may have about having sex for the first time.
Feeling pressurised, rushing things or having sex somewhere unsuitable is likely to leave you with uncomfortable feelings about the experience.
If you need advice on contraception to help reduce the risks of unwanted pregnancy and STIs, you can go along to your local doctor (GP), Brook Centre (for under 25s) or family planning clinic. Advice is given in confidence and contraception will be free. You can also buy condoms from a chemist and other retail outlets.
If you'd like to talk things through, you can visit your local Brook Centre and have a chat with a counsellor there, in confidence, about anything to do with sex and relationships or you can call the Brook helpline on 0800 0185 023.
Question answered by YouthNet in association with Brook