Aunt Vadge: so much blood after fingering – what’s wrong?

Dear Aunt Vadge, 

I’m really scared because my vagina is bleeding a lot because my boyfriend came over and he fingered me (I’m a virgin) and he was really rough. It didn’t hurt, it felt good, and he looked at his hand – it was super bloody, and it’s still bleeding. My hymen is still there, so I don’t know what to make of it.

Yours,
Frightened

Hi there Frightened,

The hymen has a blood supply, and it can get a tear or cut in it, which can bleed sometimes quite profusely. This isn’t necessarily that abnormal, including the part where at least some of your hymen still appears to be present, hence your confusion regarding the source of the bleeding.

Any profuse bleeding needs to be checked out by a doctor, because if it is your hymen, you want to make sure this doesn’t happen twice – it is very distressing – and steps can be taken to address a problem hymen. Sometimes they are really thick and fibrous, and therefore there are more blood vessels inside. It could be useful to ask the doctor to ensure your hymen is ‘out of the way’ (which can be done with a small incision to open it up), or you can stretch it yourself. See instructions for hymen stretching at the bottom of the hymen article.

Another option is that you have a vaginal septum, which is an anatomical abnormality whereby (in the case of a longitudinal vaginal septum) there is a length of flesh that splits your vaginal longways in half, so you get two long chambers instead of just one. Many women don’t discover these abnormalities until it’s time to have sex, and you get the pain and bleeding that is above and beyond what anyone was expecting.

The other form of septum is the horizontal septum, which creates a barrier across the vaginal chamber, which can cause similar problems by being prodded at by fingers, toys, or penises.

There may be other reasons why you have started to bleed that need to be considered, including it being unexpected menstrual bleeding, though I would assume you would know if this was the case based on the timing of your last period, and how your period actually feels compared to how this feels. You could also have other issues inside that are not commonly known or expected, which makes a quick visit to your local vagina expert more pertinent.

What to do next

The bleeding should stop itself as any wound would, so keep your vulva clean (warm water only), don’t touch your vagina unnecessarily, and be really careful – you don’t want to aggravate a delicate wound, which could mean avoiding exercise or riding a bike – you can be the judge of that, however. You won’t die if it starts bleeding again!

It should heal up by itself without issue no matter what the cause, but only if you don’t try to put anything inside your vagina again. It seems like perhaps you would benefit from a trip to your local sexual health clinic where they can examine you (free) and tell you if there is anything that you need to do differently.

You need to know if this problem is a serious one that may require surgery to correct, or simply a case of an overzealous bleeding hymen. It’s good to know that stuff, because then you don’t have to worry about it and you can take steps – one way or the other – to fix it. You don’t want to be frightened of your own vagina bleeding like a stuck pig every time your boyfriend fingers you, and the only way to cure that problem is to get examined.

Read the articles on fingering, oral sex and sex 101 with your boyfriend (they are long, so settle in!) so you both understand what to do and what not to do. It’s important to have those conversations, because your anatomy is invisible to you, and what’s inside and how it responds to touch is a long process of learning, and trial and error. It’s best to start off with as few errors (and bleeding episodes) as possible!

The simple fact is that fingering shouldn’t ever result in bleeding or pain.

Don’t be scared to get examined when things go wrong – having a relationship with a doctor or sexual health nurse that you trust is invaluable, because then when something feels weird or wrong, you have someone to go to. Obviously cost can be a factor, so find a free (or cheap) sexual health clinic near you, and go make friends with them. Soon enough you will need pap smears, STI checks and birth control of some kind.

Write back anytime! Read our article on healing vaginal and vulvar cuts and tears if you get stuck.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Hi again Aunt Vadge,

Thank you so much. Actually one more thing. I know you say i should go to a doctor but I really can’t. My mom doesnt know about this, and if she ever found out I was fooling around, I wouldn’t make it to the doctors. But I think it might be a cut or tear, so I will follow the directions of what to do next. Thank you so much you, literally saved my life.

Yours,
Frightened

______

Hi again Frightened,

No problem! You should do a bit of self-discovery with your own fingers by yourself to see what you can feel, and what exactly the problem is, or at least where the problem is specifically. It will give you hints – so if the problem is not on your hymen or near your hymen, then it’s probably not the hymen.

I’d recommend getting some lube or vegetable oil and really checking yourself out when you have some privacy, using a mirror, camera phone, etc. to see as much as you can without getting a crick in your neck.

If it feels like there’s something going on not where you’d expect (like on the sides of your vaginal walls), and you can feel blockages inside your vagina, it could be useful to try to arrange an examination (even secretly) to rule out anatomical abnormalities – they happen randomly and are a fusion issue in the womb, and don’t indicate further issues (so don’t worry about that!). You do want to know about any abnormalities, because they can really put a damper on your fooling around, but importantly, tampon use too.

If it starts bleeding again or feels otherwise strange or painful, please feel free to write back – I understand completely how impossible it can be to talk to your parents about your vagina, particularly admitting you have had boys’ dirty fiddling fingers in there! Parents hate that.

It will heal, one way or the other.

What a welcome to your vagina!

Write anytime.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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