Painful virgin

My girlfriend and I have been having sex without actual penetration for over 3 months now.. She says it's been a while since she has used tanpons bc the last time she tried it was incredibly painful. Each time we attempt any penetration she ends up in tears and I can't get more than about 1-2 an inch in before she cries out in pain. I feel like there is more to this than "she's just a virgin" myself not any of my friends experienced pain this intense or the inability to penetrate. Have any of you encountered or experienced a similar problem? Is it possibly a medical condition? Is there anything we can do to remedy the problem ourselves??