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*** sexual abuse and hymen triggers**

I have received some questions about the hymen bleeding after the first consensual intercourse when the person recovers memories of childhood rapes. I did not know that this could happen, either. The memories I dissociated the hardest were the vaginal rapes. I wanted to believe that they had never happened, and I truly believed (through my host personality) that I was a virgin until my husband. I held onto experiencing bleeding (albeit light bleeding) after our first sexual experience as my “proof” that my self-told lie was correct.

Chrystine Oksana’s book Safe Passage to Healing is the book that shook me free from the lies. I read this passage and experienced a sickening awareness that I had, in fact, been vaginally raped:

Some survivors are baffled by memories of repeated rapes, yet they also remember bleeding during their first conscious experience of intercourse. This would seem to imply that their hymen had not been broken. Like other genital tissue, hymens can heal and regenerate very quickly. While they may not return to their original intact shape, the regenerated hymen and scar tissue may bleed after a period of sexual inactivity. ~ Safe Passage to Healing, p. 76

I have frequently heard references to bleeding after your first experience with intercourse, but people generally do not talk about the quantity of blood. My memory of my first rape involves blood, but I don’t have a good feel for how much bleeding was involved. I was too young to have a period and, therefore, had no experience with vaginal bleeding, so I have no measure of how much bleeding is to be expected after an intact hymen is broken.

My last memory of being raped in childhood was when I was around age 12 or 13. My body was still growing, and I wonder how much that factors into how well the hymen regenerates. My next sexual experience involving that part of my body was being “fingered” at age 18, and I did experience a little bleeding then. I would call it “staining” – enough to wipe with toilet paper but not need a pad. I don’t know if bleeding after “being fingered” is normal or not.

My next rape was at age 19 by an ex-boyfriend. After that incident, I had enough bleeding that I thought my period was starting early. (I immediately dissociated the rape – an alter part experienced the rape.) Again, it was more “staining” than a flow.

Finally, I had intercourse by choice for the first time at age 23, which would be four years after the last rape. Once again, I experienced very light staining. I think it involved two wipes with toilet paper and that was it.

I apologize if I am providing too much information, but I thought my experiences might be helpful to those of you who are wrestling with blood flow after rape and consensual sex. To this day, I have no idea what quantity of blood is considered normal for the person whose first intercourse experience is consensual.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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