Does It Hurt When The Hymen Breaks?

The hymen is a thin piece of tissue that a person might have at the opening of their vagina. For some, it hurts when their hymen stretches or breaks, while others do not feel it happen.

A woman may bleed when she has penetrative sex for the first time because of her hymen breaking. The hymen is a thin piece of skin that partially covers the entrance to the vagina. It usually breaks during sex, if it hasn’t already broken before.

A woman may not know her hymen has broken, because it doesn’t always cause pain or noticeable bleeding. Having a broken hymen doesn’t necessarily mean a woman has lost her virginity.

Other Things Can Cause The Hymen To Tear

Certain physical activities and sports, for example, can stretch the membrane and cause it to thin.

This includes:
• horseback riding
• riding bicycles
• climbing trees or jungle gyms
• playing on obstacle courses
• gymnastics
• dancing

Your hymen may also wear down during nonsexual forms of penetration, such as:
• inserting tampons or menstrual cups
• getting a Pap smear
• getting a transvaginal ultrasound

Sometimes the hymen bleeds when it tears. The amount of blood will vary from person to person. It’s also possible that you won’t bleed when your hymen tears, just as it’s possible that you won’t bleed the first time you have vaginal sex. Many people don’t.

There Are Different Types Of Hymens

Hymens are not one-size-fits-all. There are actually five types of hymen which are medically classified as:
Normal: hymen with a generally crescent shaped opening.
Cribriform: hymen with several small openings through which menstrual blood can flow.
Imperforate: hymen with no opening at all.
Microperforate: hymen with extremely small opening.
Septate: hymen with a thin band of tissue in the center.

How To Ease Pain

A little discomfort during sex isn’t anything to worry about, medically speaking. However, extreme or persistent pain might be a sign that something is wrong.

It’s a good idea to see a doctor if:
The pain feels excruciating or unbearable.
Your vagina or vulva feels so sore that you’re struggling to walk and go about your day.
You’re having unusual discharge.
You’re bleeding long after sex is over.
The pain lasts for more than 1 day.
You’re in pain every time you have sex.


The hymen is a thin piece of tissue that partially covers the vaginal opening. The hymen can stretch or tear during a range of activities, such as doing gymnastics or using tampons. Some people with hymens have pain during their first penetrative sexual experience. Others do not. Taking it slow, engaging in foreplay, using lubrication, and having open communication can help people relax and enjoy their first time.