Hymen Myths That People Still Relate to the Virginity of a Woman
The hymen is often considered a symbol of virginity. But do you know there is no relationship between the hymen and virginity? It is one of the most commonly misunderstood parts of a female body. The hymen is just a left-over tissue present inside the opening of the vagina. Since it is a remnant tissue in the process of how the vagina forms during embryonic development, it is called a left-over tissue.
What is the purpose of hymen?
Many people will be surprised to know that the hymen has no confirmed medical or physiological purpose. It is just a small amount of extra tissue crescent or ring-like shape around the edge of the vaginal opening. In medical terms, whether a woman is having a hymen or losing it, it doesn’t make any difference to her health. However, the social pressure in some cultures to have an intact hymen at the time of marriage can greatly affect the mental health of a person negatively.
Common myths associated with hymen
Here are some of the most common myths surrounding hymen that people need to stop believing.
Myth 1: Hymen fully covers the vaginal opening
Most people believe that the hymen is like a layer of thin cling film wrapped over the opening of the vagina. According to some people, the hymen will be “popped” open during vaginal penetration. Some people even think that activities like gymnastics or horse-riding can break the hymen, which isn’t wrong but not exactly right as well. In reality, the hymen already has a small opening in it that usually occurs when a person hits puberty. At this time, the hymen is most likely to have worn out into a circular ring of tissue known as the vaginal corona. If it hadn’t, a person wouldn’t be able to pass menstrual blood and vaginal discharge.
Myth 2: Hymen is rigid and penetrable
Another common myth associated with hymen is that the hymen is that it is rigid and penetrable. It is a tissue that is stretchy and flexible. It means that it is not necessary that hymen will tear with penetration. However, in several cases, there may be some tearing or stretching that occurs over time from vigorous exercises, gynecological examinations, and various other reasons.
Myth 3: The hymen breaks when you have sex for the first time
The most common myth in many cultures around the world is that hymen breaks the first time you have sex. It means that people relate the condition of hymen with virginity. However, it is completely a myth. As mentioned above, the hymen is a stretchy and flexible tissue, it doesn’t break. Though it can stretch or even tear during various intense physical activities such as horse riding, swimming, cycling, etc. Inserting certain things in the vagina like tampons, sex toys, or fingers can also stretch this tissue. So by the time a person has sex for the first time, her hymen might already be thin enough for it to not be affected at all.
Myth 4: A person cannot use vaginal suppositories if her hymen is intact
Another common myth is that a person cannot use vaginal suppositories if her hymen is intact. We have already mentioned earlier that hymen doesn’t cover the whole vaginal opening. Thus, it becomes easier for vaginal suppositories to go through. However, in some rare cases of abnormal hymen, using vaginal suppositories can be difficult. The abnormal hymen is the one that covers most of the, or complete vaginal opening. It can also interfere sex activity. In such cases, a surgical opening of the hymen is suggested.
Myth 5: All females are born with a hymen
Most women are born with a hymen, a membrane covering the vagina opening. This opening naturally has a hole to allow menstrual blood to come out of it. However, thinking that all women are born with a hymen, is not at all true. Some women are born with little hymenal tissue or without that tissue at all. There is no physiological role in having a hymen. It is also not at all harmful if you don’t have a hymen.
Myth 6: A gynecologist can easily determine the condition of hymen and tell whether you’re a virgin or not
It is believed that a gynecologist can easily tell if you have a hymen or not. With the help of a physical exam and checking the condition of your hymen, a gynecologist can reveal your virginity. Just like all vaginas are not the same, all hymens are also not the same. Some people have smaller and thinner hymens while others have bigger and thicker hymens.
In some people, the hymen is visible and in some, it is not. It is also important to note that the appearance of hymen changes with age. Due to all these reasons, a gynecologist cannot tell if you are a virgin or not by performing a physical exam. Since all hymens are different and unique and their existence is not an indicator of sexual activity, one cannot tell about the virginity of a woman.
Myth 7: The stretching of hymen hurts and causes bleeding
It is not necessary that the stretching of hymen will always cause pain and discomfort. In fact, in some women, the stretching of hymen happens without them noticing it at all. Pain during sex doesn’t always happen due to the stretching of the hymen. It can happen due to the combination of inexperience, nervousness, and inadequate preparation. Though some women may experience a little amount of bleeding from hymenal stretching at first intercourse, this is by no means a universal experience.
So now it is clear that there is no relationship between the condition of hymen and the virginity of a woman. All the above-mentioned myths that most people worldwide have in their minds, need to be broken. These myths can be dangerous for the mental health of a woman.
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