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What Happens When You Lose Your Virginity?

When you have sex, you may experience increased nipple sensitivity, blood pressure, pulse, and vaginal lubrication. In addition, your vagina will probably temporarily expand or lengthen.

These are physiological responses to stimulation that can happen no matter when you have sex. The hormones that surge through your body when you have sex can sometimes cause strong emotions afterward.

What does it mean to lose your virginity?

Some people believe in the concept of virginity. However, the traditional definition of virginity, which is the first time a person has penetrative penis-vagina intercourse, marginalizes sex between people who aren’t heterosexual.

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Today, many people think the concept of virginity is antiquated and places unnecessary pressure on people to either have or not have sex. For some people, having sex for the first time may be an important milestone in their lives, and this is totally normal. For other people, it’s just a thing that happened that doesn’t mean much at all, and that’s fine too! You may find it helpful to reflect on how you feel about it before you have sex so you can share the information with your partner.

What happens to your body when you lose your virginity?

So, what happens to your body when you lose your virginity? Sex can cause a number of mostly temporary changes to your body. Here are a few of them:

Vaginal changes

It’s a myth that having sex can change the elasticity of your vagina, or that people who have a lot of sex become “loose.” The vagina is capable of delivering a baby. A penis is not going to permanently alter the elasticity of the vagina. 

For some people, sex can feel uncomfortable. This can be because it’s a sensation that you’re not used to or because you’re having sex when your vagina isn’t lubricated enough. More foreplay can increase vaginal lubrication, which can make sex more comfortable. If the vagina is sufficiently lubricated, sex shouldn’t be painful. If you experience pain every time you have sex, you might want to talk to a health care provider who can help you figure out the signals your body is sending you.

Breasts

For some people, having sex causes their breast tissue to swell. This happens because sexual arousal can increase blood flow to your breasts

Nipples

During sexual arousal, blood circulation around the nipples increases, and your nipples might become more sensitive than usual. This is also a temporary change that accompanies arousal and will go away afterward. 

Hormones

During sex, your brain releases lots of chemicals, including endorphins and the hormones dopamine and oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone.” This cocktail of powerful neurochemicals can make some people feel trust or a very strong bond with the person they had sex with. Their brain might also make an association between the person and feeling good. It can be helpful to remember that these thoughts might be caused by a temporary surge of hormones and don’t necessarily reflect your deeper feelings.

Can you get pregnant after your first time having sex?

The short answer is yes. Whether it is the first time or the thousandth time, you can get pregnant from having sex with a male partner. Anytime semen (cum) enters your vagina, you can become pregnant. Before a male ejaculates, the penis releases a fluid called pre-cum. Although uncommon, sometimes live sperm are present in pre-cum, which means it can also cause pregnancy. Anytime cum or pre-cum comes into contact with your vagina, pregnancy is possible, even if you don’t have sex. If you are sexually active and do not want to get pregnant, it is important to use a method of birth control like condoms or the pill. 

What’s the average age when people lose their virginity?

The average age when people have sex for the first time is between 16 and 17 in the US. However, the number of high school students having sex is on the decline. 

Regardless of when it happens, everyone’s “first time” is different. The most important thing when you decide to have sex for the first time is that it is something you want, not something somebody is pressuring you to do. And when you do have sex, remember that condoms can help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and other forms of birth control can prevent pregnancy.

Carpenter, L. M. (2002). Gender and the meaning and experience of virginity loss in the contemporary United States. Gender & Society, 16(3), 345-365.

Fortenberry, J. D. (2013). Puberty and adolescent sexuality. Hormones and behavior, 64(2), 280-287.

Tripp, J., & Viner, R. (2005). ABC of adolescence: Sexual health, contraception, and teenage pregnancy. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 330(7491), 590.

Vasilenko, S. A., Lefkowitz, E. S., & Maggs, J. L. (2012). Short-term positive and negative consequences of sex based on daily reports among college students. Journal of sex research, 49(6), 558-569.

Carpenter, Laura M. “Gender and the Meaning and Experience of Virginity Loss in the Contemporary United States.” Gender & Society, vol. 16, no. 3, 2002, pp. 345–365., doi:10.1177/0891243202016003005.

Fortenberry, J. Dennis. “Puberty and Adolescent Sexuality.” Hormones and Behavior, vol. 64, no. 2, 2013, pp. 280–287., doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.03.007.

Tripp, John, and Russell Viner. “Sexual Health, Contraception, and Teenage Pregnancy.” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 12 Mar. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC554037.

Higgins, Jenny A, et al. “Virginity Lost, Satisfaction Gained? Physiological and Psychological Sexual Satisfaction at Heterosexual Debut.” Journal of Sex Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2010,
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572537.

Vasilenko, Sara A, et al. “Short-Term Positive and Negative Consequences of Sex Based on Daily Reports among College Students.” Journal of Sex Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394901/.

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