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What Happens When You Lose Virginity? A Female Body Guide

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.
female holding a red rose symbolizing a concept of virginity

This is a physiological response to stimulation that can happen regardless of the circumstances under which you’re having sex. The hormones that surge through your body when you have sex can sometimes cause strong emotions afterwards.

What does it mean to lose 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, leaves out a lot of other types of sex, including oral sex and anal sex. It also marginalizes sex between people who aren’t heterosexual. Today, many people think the concept of virginity is antiquated and places unnecessary pressure on people to either have or not have sex. The truth is, for some people, having sex for the first time is a very important milestone in their lives, and this is totally normal. For other people, it’s just a thing that happened that doesn’t mean very 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.

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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 human baby. A penis is not going to permanently alter the elasticity of your 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 doctor who can help you figure out the signals your body is sending you.

Breast

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

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Nipples

During a state of 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. 

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 the truth. 

Can you get pregnant after your first sex?

YES! Absolutely! Whether it is the first time or the thousandth time, you can get pregnant from having sex. Anytime semen (cum) enters your vagina, you can become pregnant. Before a man ejaculates, his 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 women lose virginity?

The average age when women lose their virginity is 17. 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 (STIs) 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.
de Weiss, S. P., Atkin, L. C., Gribble, J. N., & Andrade-Palos, P. (1991). Sex, contraception, and pregnancy among adolescents in Mexico City. Studies in Family Planning, 22(2), 74-82.
Fortenberry, J. D. (2013). Puberty and adolescent sexuality. Hormones and behavior, 64(2), 280-287.
Kisker, E. E. (1985). Teenagers talk about sex, pregnancy and contraception. Family Planning Perspectives, 17(2), 83-90.
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.

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