This article was scientifically reviewed by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz. She is a professor, researcher, private practitioner and Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Estimates vary from 3 to 7 inches, but vaginas are pretty tricky when it comes to nailing their size down exactly, simply because it changes so easily! Think of a vagina as an umbrella, rather than a tube. Normally ft it is folded in on itself, but has the ability to open up to accommodate a penis or fingers or sex toy when aroused – by up to 200% !
Of course, it’s not just arousal that changes the size of a vagina. Close to ovulation, the cervix (the stopper between womb and vagina) will rise, while it will sit lower close to menstruation. Users of menstrual cups will know a thing or two about measuring their cervix height, and it definitely varies from person to person!
What is ‘Too Deep’?
If you’re having penetrative sex, then the answer depends totally on the person with the vagina. Everyone’s body is a little bit different – and, as noted above, it can change depending on things like menstrual cycle and arousal. If you could find two people who have vaginas that are the exact same depth, you might find that one of them loves deep penetration, but the other hates it!
If you’re the one doing the thrusting and your implement of choice – be it penis or dildo – then you have to be hyper conscious of how deeply you’re thrusting. Some people hate the sensation of having their cervix hit. Or, if they do find that the flood of happy brain chemicals that blunt feelings of pain during sex, they might later end up with cramps and discomfort due to deep penetration. When in doubt, start shallow and wait for your partner to ask you to go more deeply – a little dirty talk is pretty fun, after all!
Penetration shouldn’t hurt. If it is painful to have sex with a larger penis – or to have penetrative sex for the first time, for that matter – the culprit is often a lack of adequate foreplay. Foreplay ensures that the vagina is expanded enough to comfortably be penetrated as well as lubricated to help things go more smoothly – though there are many situations whereusing extra lube may be necessary. If you or your partner is still experiencing pain during penetration with plenty of arousal, then it’s time to talk to a doctor who is trained in sexual mediciner, as there are several medical conditions that could be at play.