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August 04, 2022 4 min read

HYMEN 101: BREAKING THE MYTHS TO DETERMINE THE TRUTH

Matters regarding women and especially their sexuality is surrounded by so much mystery. Many people have weird myths about the female body, and most are wrong. This article debunks the myths about the hymen.

Contrary to what most people believe, the hymenis not a flat sheet of tissue covering the vagina ruptured during intercourse. Girls would be unable to menstruate before losing their virginity if this were the case since there would be no exit for menstrual blood. So, what exactly is the hymen? Read below to find out.

Defining the Hymen

The hymen is a membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening. It is not a barrier that would prevent one from menstruating. When inserting a tampon or having sex for the first time, many women realize their hymens are not perforated, leading to pain when trying these activities. However, other disorders like vaginismus can make penetration difficult. Imperforate hymen is uncommon. According to Suseno et al. (2015), only 1 out of 10,000 women suffer from it. Women with an imperforate hymen cannot menstruate effectively and often experience pain in the lower back and abdomen. They may also experience inflammation in the abdomen area, making urination difficult.

While genital surgery is never enjoyable, a hysterectomy is necessary for good vaginal and uterine function, including masturbation, sexual activity, pregnancy, and menstruation. Regardless of the type of hymen you have, the need for surgery does not necessarily imply that something is wrong with you. 

Debunking the Myths Surrounding the Hymen

The Hymen Is the Only Indicator of Virginity 

The hymen is a misinterpreted aspect of the body. The hymen in every woman's body is unique, much like her eyes, nose, or breasts. However, most women are unaware of their sexual anatomy. Nobody can tell if the hymen is ruptured due to sexual contact by feeling or touching it. It's a fleshy tissue that can rip or break at any age while playing, cycling, or other physical activity.

The Hymen Is a Thin Sheet That Entirely Covers the Vagina

The hymen is a fleshy tissue covering the vagina. It is not a delicate wrap that completely covers the vagina. Otherwise, menstruation would not happen.

The Hymen Will Bleed After Your First Sex Experience

Many women's hymens thin with time and may tear without provocation. It may cause little bleeding or blood spots in rare cases, but not in most cases. It all depends on the hymen's thickness and rigidity. If it is excessively rigid and stretchy, you could think it's broken.

You Will Always Know When Your Hymen Breaks

The hymen mostly breaks long before you have sex for the first time. It could happen during horseback riding, cycling, gymnastics practice, tampon insertion, or masturbation. When it breaks, it usually goes unnoticed.

It is the Breaking of the Hymen that Results In Bleeding during First-time Sex 

The hymen should never be faulted for vaginal bleeding during first-time sex. The bleeding could be caused by a lack of lubricant, anxiousness, inexperience, or rough sex.

The Purpose of the Hymen Is to Determine Virginity

Like many other vestigial organs, such as the wisdom teeth and appendix, the hymen serves no purpose. However, medics once thought its primary function was to protect the vaginal area from infections.

Tampons Affect Your Hymen

Although using tampons during your first period may extend your hymen, it does not affect your virginity. Many virgins' hymens are not intact, and some women are born without one. Just try to relax before inserting a tampon. 

Your Partner Can Tell If You Have a Hymen or Not

It is impossible to determine a woman's virginity by checking her hymen.  A gynecologist cannot tell if a woman is a virgin by looking at her hymen or vagina. The idea that the tightness and rigidity of a woman's vagina determine her virginity is a fallacy. It all comes down to your daily routine and your predisposition to strenuous physical activity.

What Is the Function of a Hymen?

Even gynecologists are unaware of the function of the hymen. Some believe it can prevent pathogens from entering the vaginal canal in embryos, but it doesn't seem to do anything else once you're born. The hymen could be a byproduct of vaginal development in the womb. If a woman lacks the hymen, the vagina could still function normally.

The Bottom Line

Many of these hymen myths are damaging to females. The hymen, or anything else physical, cannot be used to prove virginity. Hymens are the subject of numerous misunderstandings. These membranes surround the vaginal opening and do not have many purposes. People need to be better informed of the facts rather than believing myths that lack any basis. 

References

Suseno, A., Wantania, J., & Wagey, F. W. (2015). Imperforate hymen in an Adolescent a Rare Cause of Acute Abdominal Pain A Case Report. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research, 41(51).

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