Normal first intercourse reactions

Dear Alice,

What are the normal physical reactions to losing one's virginity? I'd really rather delay going to a gynecologist, but I'd just like to make sure what I am/have experienced after my first sexual experience was not indicative of any medical problems.

— Normal First Intercourse?

Dear Normal First Intercourse?,

After having intercourse or sex for the first time, a person may experience a range of physical or emotional reactions. Common physical reactions vary, too, and can include soreness, numbness, pleasure, orgasm, no orgasm, lubrication, no lubrication, irritation, urinary tract infection (UTI), vaginal infection, or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), with or without symptoms. Common emotional reactions can include pride, guilt, happiness, relief, and disappointment, for starters. Without knowing more about your specific experience, it's difficult to say if your reactions were within the “normal” range of physical or emotional responses. It’s likely safe to say that everyone has a unique response to their first time, so even describing exactly might be “normal” is a challenge. However, if you’re concerned with physical symptoms (or emotional reactions), it really may be best to visit a health care provider — whether it's a gynecologist or primary care provider is up to you.

While you may be hesitant, there are a number of benefits to visiting the gynecologist after you've become sexually active. Getting answers to your specific sexual health-related questions and verification of your health status may help to reassure you. Visiting the gynecologist also gives you a chance to discuss contraceptive methods, how to practice safer sex, and develop a relationship with a health care provider. You may want to ask your own primary health care provider for a recommendation or visit Planned Parenthood for help in finding a sexual and reproductive health care center.

Hope this helps!

Last updated Jun 23, 2017
Originally published May 17, 1996

Submit a new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct.

Can’t find information on the site about your health concern or issue?