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Bleeding after sex: A reader question

Is it normal to bleed after the first time you have sex? And if so, how much is typical — and when should you be concerned there might be a problem you should see a doctor about? Put simply: When in doubt, check it out.

A reader asks: “Please help me! I am 16 years old. I lost my virginity to my boyfriend seven days ago. We were both virgins. The first four days it was extremely painful and i thought it would stop. This is now the seventh day of bleeding. I want to go to the doctor but I can’t afford it. Is this normal? Am I pregnant? Am I crazy?”

Crazy? Probably not. Pregnant? That would depend on your situation — but if you are, it probably has nothing to do with your immediate bleeding. A little bleeding after your first few time having sex is common, and occurs because your hymen (a layer of tissue — really mucus membrane — outside of your vagina) is torn during sex. But you said that you had sex for the first time a week ago, and have been bleeding ever since.

The best advice that anyone can give you is that a doctor would need to examine you to determine the root of the cause. It is impossible to tell you what is wrong with you in an online forum such as this.

I wish I could offer more direct advice, but considering the medical nature of this problem, I can only tell you that you need to get help from a qualified healthcare professional. Most areas have some sort of free clinic or clinics that work on a sliding scale. Find a list of HRSA-supported health centers you can visit, even if you have no health insurance, right here. There are also Planned Parenthood offices in most of the cities in the United States, which also offer medical care on a sliding fee scale.

Good luck, and please be sure to practice safe sex.

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