Today, the Internet is full of useful information, yet many young and adult girls are ignorant about their bodies. The hymen is a very disputable topic that has many myths surrounding it. We’ve put together seven facts to answer the many questions a girl may have regarding it:
The purpose of the hymen is unknown.
Hymenal tissue thins with age.
Pain during the first intercourse isn’t due to the hymen breaking.
Bloody sheets aren’t caused by the hymen tearing.
The hymenal membrane doesn’t cover the whole vaginal opening.
Around 1 in 200 women have an imperforate hymen.
Historically, the breaking of the hymen was proof that a newlywed girl was a virgin.
Please continue reading where we explain each fact in more detail.
1. The purpose of the hymen is unknown.
No one knows why girls are born with the hymen, but it is present in a woman’s body from birth (in rare cases, some people are born without it). It breaks during the girl’s first sexual intercourse.
2. Hymenal tissue thins with age.
As a girl grows, her hymen goes through changes too. Different factors affect its density. An active lifestyle, cleansing, self-exploration and even simply walking may thin and widen the membrane. By the time a girl reaches her puberty age, the hymen may be completely worn away.
3. Pain during the first intercourse isn’t due to the hymen breaking.
You’ve probably heard of the urban legend that the pain you feel during the first intercourse is from the hymen tearing. This is an old myth and is completely not true. By the time a woman has her first intercourse, most of the membrane is worn away and plays no role in the discomfort she may feel.
Many girls are told that their first sexual encounter will be painful and that’s the reason why a lot of times it is. If we expect something to hurt, we tense up and get anxious, which ultimately leads to pain. To avoid pain, simply relax, and inform your partner to be gentle.
4. Bloody sheets aren’t caused by the hymen tearing.
This is another popular myth, which claims that a virgin girl will bleed during her first sexual experience. Young partners are not experienced love-makers. As a result, their first few times are more trial and error and less skilled and sensual. Rough sex or a poorly lubricated vagina are the usual causes of bleeding during the first sexual intercourse.
5. The hymenal membrane doesn’t cover the whole vaginal opening.
It’s ridiculous to even think that the hymen can cover the whole vaginal opening. How would a girl menstruate if it did? The hymen is covered with holes that allow the menstrual blood to pass through.
6. Around 1 in 200 women have an imperforate hymen.
An imperforate hymen is a birth defect, where the hymen doesn’t have an opening and completely blocks the vaginal opening. It is diagnosed in young girls the menstrual blood can’t pass through and accumulates in the vagina. But with today’s scientific advances, all it takes is a simple hymenotomy procedure to remove or open up the hymen.
7. Historically, the breaking of the hymen was proof that a newlywed girl was a virgin.
This is probably the biggest myth surrounding the hymen. Back in the day, many different cultures expected the newlywed couple to bring out the bed sheets after their first night to confirm they consummated the union and that the girl was a virgin. Talk about privacy infringement. Many of the young brides would not even dare risk it and would cut their thighs to soil the sheets with blood.