Here's why the hardware might be incompatible.

By Christina Oehler/HEALTH.COM
Updated: Apr 15, 2019 @ 3:34 pm
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This article originally appeared on Health. For more stories like it, visit health.com.

Considering that the vagina is designed to stretch so much that another human can pass through it, you'd think it could easily fit any size erect penis. At rest, the vaginal canal measures 3.7 inches long, on average. But when you're sexually aroused, it elongates, lubricates, and expands—so even sex with an XL guy is slippery and comfy.

But as it turns out, sometimes a penis can be too big to fit inside a vagina.

“It’s a very rare situation, [but] there are some men that are so endowed it makes certain positions difficult or painful,” Christine Greves, ob-gyn at the center for obstetrics and gynecology at Orlando Health, tells Health. The average erect penis comes in at 5.1 inches, but even a man who is a couple of inches larger can be hard to, well, accommodate. (For the record, the largest erect penis clocks in at more than 13 inches...yikes.)

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Another penis-vagina fit issue has to do with a woman's age. In your 20s, 30s, and 40s, your estrogen levels are naturally high, which keeps vaginal tissue supple. That makes the vagina pretty expandable and less sensitive, says Dr. Greves.

But once you hit menopause, your body's estrogen output takes a dive. With less natural lubrication, an average or larger penis might have a tough time time fitting in without causing pain and friction for both the man and the woman.

It's also possible that just as some penises are on the small side, some vaginas might be, too. An exceptionally large penis, then, would be a mismatch for a small vagina. “Some vaginas are larger than others...so I would think it’s based on an individual basis," said Dr. Greves.

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Okay, what are you supposed to if your v isn't comfortably accommodating his p? Extra foreplay can help; the more aroused you are, the more lubrication your body can produce, which can make things slippery and stretchy. Store-bought lube is also a good idea.

Stick to sex positions that put you in control, like woman on top or reverse cowgirl. When you're in charge of the depth and speed, he won't be able to go so deep or thrust so fast that it doesn't feel good. Positions that keep your legs wide can also help, since that can elongate the vagina.

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If the problem stems from menopause, “what I recommend for my post-estrogen women is an estrogen cream and a vaginal dilator. Try to get a dilator similar to the size of the man. And with lubrication, you could see if that could accommodate [the penis],” Dr. Greves says. If you've tried several tactics but nothing seems to work, it can't hurt to check in with your ob-gyn, she advises.

 

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