Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Women's Health

Pain During Sex

01/07/2010

Question:

This is hard to explain, and I may be using the wrong terminology, but I will try my best to explain what happened. I only started having sex about a month ago, and it hasn`t really been all that painful until tonight. I went to the bathroom afterward, as usual, and decided to feel around and check myself out because the pain was pretty intense.

What I felt is hard to describe, but let me explain my vagina for a minute. I went to a gyno before because I had a really hard time inserting tampons and such, and could always feel all these bumps and I was concerned it wasn`t "normal". Upon a full physical exam, she explained to me that the opening of my vagina had a strip of SOMETHING that covered the bottom of the opening. Imagine if you will a circle that has the bottom cut off a bit so the circle would stand up on its own? That`s sort of what she described to me although she never have this SOMETHING a name. I have looked online and it seems likely that it`s either my perenium or the corona that is there.

After the second time I had sex, there was bleeding and I assumed that whatever was there had been "moved" or at least taken care of and wouldn`t be a problem. But this evening, upon my self examination, I felt something almost coming out of my vagina. I could still feel that "something" there, but not nearly as significant as it was, but it felt as if the center of it had torn a bit (no bleeding though) and there was a small piece of skin or something actually coming out, I could move a finger all the way around it and move it back and forth, and it was definitely coming out of the vaginal opening. I could feel that it was "attached" at it`s base, but its definitely able to move around, and I think that my boyfriends penis either detached it so it would move like it does, or maybe the friction just irritated some skin and caused swelling?

I`m going to see a doctor as soon as possible, but I am just looking for some advice for the mean time.

Answer:

As the vagina develops before birth, a skin-like membrane develops at its opening called a hymen.  Usually by adulthood, the hymen exists just as a remnant around the periphery of the vaginal opening and doesn't prevent intercourse or the insertion of tampons.  In some women, however, the hymen remains prominent and can either block one part of the opening, form a strip of tissue across the opening, or even block the vaginal entrance completely, trapping menstrual blood inside (the latter is called an imperforate hymen and usually requires surgery).

It sounds like what you are describing is a hymenal remnant that was torn by your first coital experience.  If such a piece of tissue is fairly small, it can usually be removed in a doctor's office with local anesthesia.  An examination by a physician is important, though, to make sure it is not a rarer or different type of growth.

For more information:

Go to the Women's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University