The Hymen: Breaking the Myths

Different types of hymens. Drawing: Nina Reimer. Different types of hymens. Drawing: Nina Reimer.

By Christine Cupaiuolo — December 31, 2008

The value placed on virgin brides in some cultures led to much talk this year about “reconstructing” virginity (see: hymenoplasty) and the legal relevance of virginity (see: “essential quality” for marriage). So it seems only fitting that we should end with an inflated device designed to fake virginity by mimicking the “breaking” of the vaginal tissue known as the hymen.

According to the product description, once inserted the device “will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrate [sic], it will ooze out a liquid that look [sic] like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans, you will pass through undetectable.”

Putting aside the issues of why someone would consider this a necessary product  — and the looming question: what do they use to make the fake blood and do I really want it in my vagina?? — let’s take a step back and discuss the hymen and what really happens to this misunderstood body part.

For this we turn to Carol Roye, a nursing professor at Hunter College and a nurse practitioner who specializes in adolescent primary and reproductive health care. Roye recently wrote an an article on the hymen that was published at Women’s eNews (and reprinted at Our Bodies Ourselves).

First off, contrary to what girls are often led to believe, “the hymen is not a flat piece of tissue covering the vagina, which is punctured during intercourse. If it were, girls would not be able to menstruate before they lose their virginity because there would be no outlet for menstrual blood.”

“Usually, the hymen looks like a fringe of tissue around the vaginal opening,” adds Roye. “It is not an intact piece of tissue draped across it. Some girls are born without a hymen, others have only a scanty fringe of tissue. Moreover, for all its fabled mystery, the hymen is just a body part.”

Furthermore, while hymens can be torn during sex or other physical activity, they don’t “break.” These torn areas can bleed, but it doesn’t always happen.

Some of Roye’s patients ask whether using tampons or riding a bicycle can affect their hymens (and their virginity), or if they are “de-virginized” if a partner inserts a finger into the vagina. Roye also deals with parents who ask her to determine if their daughters are virgins.

“Of course, in New York (and many states) teens have a right to confidential care so I cannot tell the mother anything unless the teen gives me permission to do so,” Roye writes. “But even if I am allowed to talk to the parent frankly, I often can’t give the yes-no answer they want. It is not so easy to tell whether a girl is a virgin, because hymens are so varied. If there is not much of a hymen I have no way of knowing what happened to it. Was it a boyfriend or a bicycle? Or, perhaps, this girl did not have much tissue there to begin with.”

Back to the virginity question, Roye states that she believes “virginity is what the individual thinks it is. It certainly is for men, who bear no tell-tale signs of lost virginity.” She adds:

The concept of virginity has an emotional connotation. It is more than just the physical disruption of hymenal tissue.

If a young woman has had a sexual relationship with her partner, and she feels that she has lost her virginity, then she has, regardless of what actually happened to her hymen during the encounter. There are ancillary issues that each woman must answer for herself.

Well said.

Interestingly, “hymen” is the most popular internal search term at the Our Bodies Ourselves website. (In case you’re wondering, orgasm, abortion, yeast infection and vagina round out the top-five searches.) This self-guided tour is very useful in helping you to find your hymen, if remnants remain.

108 responses to “The Hymen: Breaking the Myths”

  1. My question..I was married for more then 15 years before divorce. In the last few years we had no sex or so rare-don’t remember. Within year after divorce, I saw my ob/gyn who informed me she thought my hymen was still intact. Is this possible after all those years? (guess it is I’m an example); I’m currently in another relationship for 3 yrs now and still find sex painful, is it poss that this may be due to hymen not being torn? and if I were to see my ob/gyn, is there anything they can do to correct this? (assuming it’s reason for painful sex)?

    • Hi a virgin 21 years old girl..and after six month i will be married…but im worried about my blood if it not come during intercourse..because some years when i was console myself with water(shower) i just saw that a little blood came out i also knew that its not Period not athlete nor do any hard born in stereotype culture thats why im worried.
      Tell me exactly…:(

      • Hey.
        I’d like to ask the same thing as Sehar because I’m worried if I will not bleed during intercourse. Before two years I was laying on bed and as I got up to the toilet I saw a stain of blood on my underwear and I new it wasn’t my period for sure . And in my culture you have to bleed on your wedding night . So , I am very concerned .

    • I am more a Neurology student than gynecologist. However, your ex husband could do that job well lol. there is absolutely no way for a woman to keep her virginity for that long. It will break even if you don’t have sex. Hymen can break during cycling, workout, fingering, dildo or other tense activities.

    • Familiar,

      Yes, your Ob/Gyn can do something to help you. He or she can surgically remove your hymen. I know because mine was surgically removed. Why? Well, because my hymen was very thick and would never have torn on it’s own.

    • Fanila,

      Yes, your Ob/Gyn can do something to help you. I know because mine was surgically removed by my Gynecologist. Why? Well, because my hymen was very thick and wouldn’t have torn on it’s own.

    • Hi, I have recently done research on this topic and discovered that it is not “normal” for women to experience pain during sex. both the myth of tearing the hymen and painful sex when losing one’s virginity are false. since the vaginal walls are muscles that expand and designed to well take a beating, if the women are sufficiently aroused and has produced enough natural lubrication, sex should not be painful. the majority of women bleed because of discomfort in their first time or because their partner did not invest enough time in getting the women lubricated. all bleeding and pain are a product of tearing the vaginal wall and that is what may be painful.

    • Your hymen doesn’t necessarily need to break if your ex was very gentle. It’s usually harsh penetration with little lubrication that leads to the hymen breaking. If you find sex painful, it most likely wouldn’t be due to your hymen. You might have an infection. I would see your ob/gyn if I were you.

    • Hello read your article and thot l cld ask. Recently met with a guy who fingered and gave me( no the first time nor the second) and afterwards l felt slightly above moderate pain for days. I didn’t bleed tho. Now my current boyfriend told me l no longer hv the hymen layer. Is it possible that l didn’t bleed at all or he isn’t sure? He also gave me oral sex and expicitly mentioned that l had a hymen the very same nyt which is why l am worried
      I did track in high xul and it never affected me so um puzzled my hymen wld be thin.

      • According to what Ben said,I still could not understand, even if I do,my partner did not because most men expects to see blood if one is truly a virgin. What advice do you have for me please?

    • You might have been having sex in your urethera if you have been experiencing painful sex and your ob/gyn says your hymen is still in tact.

      • No. Just No. You can not have sex in your urethra. You can not insert a penis into a urethra. There are many reasons for painful sex and should be discussed with a doctor.

      • You havent done enouh research. The urethra is penetratable, and if you want to see proof just look it up male or female there ar videos of both. Citation before representation Bobbi

      • Lol. It is uncomfortable to get a catheter. That’s why they sometimes numb you. If your penis is small then that, you are the one who should I doctor

  2. Suppose someone had a thicker hymen that hadn’t broken even after a few years of intercourse and tampons and what have you…it didn’t really get in the way, it was just there… Well, it breaks…tears completely in half. What happens to those halves…do they just hang out there?!

  3. if one had a seperate hyme (because I think I do), and tore some of it but not the rest would the rest strech to the side or is there something that needs to be done about it?

  4. Pls help me.i am a virgin 28yrs old and and husband is 30yrs of age. Both of us have no sex experience before.since we are together i always feel pains when i want to sex that i cannot stand or endure it. What can i do.our marriage is 4years now.

    • you probably have some sort of issue in your vaginal walls and may need to go get a vaginal mesh implant if you are always experiencing pain regardless of sexual arousal.

  5. i have wife when i married she have virginity 100%. but for the first time when we contact shes virginity do not 2 time also but after a few month sheshavent hymen mean’s when we do sexual intercourse its get in her vagina.we dont see any bleed. i am sad and i cant trust my wife.b/se may she do sex with another guy but she said i donot done sex without you ido no this action,she said. but itrust my wife we are christian.belong to jesus. please helpme how this can made. no break no bleed how?

    • Segni Bikila, if able please read article “The Hymen, breaking the myths.” In the article you question is explained … sometimes the hymen tissue does not cause bleeding when disturbed. The hymen is not a barrier, it is tissue (body part) near the vaginal entry. In some cases a women’s hymen has been disturbed by exercise, illness, or she had little or none to begin with, etc. The fact is that bleeding upon first intercourse is not an indication of virginity. You claim to be a Christian … doesn’t the word of God teach to trust one another — does this not include you wife?

      • I really want to know in this day and age how men can be so ignorant about a woman’s body and have the right to treat her so badly because they immediately assume she is not a virgin if there is no blood. It is common knowledge that a hymen is not proof of virginity or lack of virginity. Why are these guys allowed to to have this power over their wife or girlfriend when they can offer no proof of their own virginity. I am so angry about this. It is not right…it is not Gods will. How can these men question any thing when they can master bate..have oral sex…do just about everything sexual except penetration and still call themselves virgins. I can’t stand this. I want the women in these relationships to get the hell out of there and learn about the modern world before committing to a man who has final say and the right to harm you. Is that love? No it isn’t. Ladies you have been brainwashed. Please get away…far far away from any community..or country that is frozen in time. Please.

    • Some women are born without a hymen. Without a hymen there would be no bleed even if the woman is a virgin.

    • Sometimes the hymen does not bleed, instead it stretches to accomodate. If it stretches and is well lubricated it will not bleed during the first sexual intercourse experience.

    • Sir remember the vowles you guys made under jesus name. Maybe she wasn’t a virgin but remember that she was spiritually a virgin because good clean her with his blood. Even if she wasn’t you choosed her what if she got rape or by accident broke it women is really delicated from down there. She wouldn’t chear on you because she is a christian and is a believer. Please don’t get mad at her I don’t know who you are but maybe your paying what you did to one of you girlfriends younger

    • Kara Kent Millions out there are still in the darkness!

      this is a myth which has been disproved many times over in the twentieth century as the medical establishment has made it clear that:

      1. Some girls are born without a hymen;

      2. The hymen may tear naturally when a girl plays sports or engages in any physical activity;

      3. The hymen is not always smooth but tends to be perforated and that the perforations may get bigger and cause the hymen to break once a girl menstruates;

      4. The hymen can be broken by the use of tampons;

      5. The hymen may be very small or very elastic so that no breakage occurs at all (some women even become pregnant while their hymens are still intact);

      6. A hymen may not bleed when broken.

      Given these facts, it is extremely sad that women all over the world are still expected to bleed on their wedding nights as proof that they are virgins and that they often pay severe consequences if they happen not to bleed, possibly being shamed and humiliated, instantly divorced or even killed.

    • The myth about female virginity – why most women won’t bleed the first time they have sex.

      There’s a very common myth in South and Central Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan etc.) and Middle East (KSA, we’re especially looking at you) that you can tell if a woman is a virgin, by whether or not she bleeds the first time she has sex. There is zero truth in this. Not all women bleed the first time they have sex, as we’ll explain in this post.

      To understand why some women bleed and some don’t, it’s very important to understand what the hymen is. The hymen is a membrane that tends to cover part of the vaginal opening (it does not always block or cover the entire vagina, as some people mistakenly think). NOT ALL WOMEN HAVE A HYMEN. The hymen also differs from woman to woman – like all women have different heights and weights and features, all women also have different amounts and types of hymen. Some women have thick hymens, some have very thin hymens, and some women have no hymens at all. Some women have larger hymens, some women naturally have a very little amount of hymen that covers only a small portion of their vaginal opening (and hence does not really get in the way, during first-time sex).

      In addition to this, the hymen wears away on its own as you grow up. For most women, the hymen wears away on its own with exercise, bicycling, horseback riding – it can wear off with pretty much any other physical activity, even dancing! – or from using tampons when menstruating. Especially if the hymen is very small or thin, most of it tends to wear away on its own as a girl grows up.

      If a woman is born without a hymen, she won’t bleed the first time she has sex. If a woman has a small or thin hymen, she might not bleed the first time she has sex. If a woman’s hymen has worn away on its own (which is very common as girls grow up), she won’t bleed the first time she has sex. The result is that the overwhelming majority – at least 63% of women – will NOT bleed the first time they have sex, according to a study published by the British Medical Journal. Women who do bleed include:

      – Women with thick hymens (who constitute a small percentage of the population)
      – Younger girls. Because the hymen wears away on its own with time, a 16-year old has a higher chance of bleeding than a 25-year old. By the time a girl is of or above the legal age of consent – 18, 20, 24 years of age, for example – most of her hymen is likely to have worn away on its own, meaning it’s unlikely that she’ll bleed a lot, if at all. However, even a young girl can be physically active, have a thin or small hymen, or have no hymen at all, meaning she might not bleed during first-time sex.
      – Most often, women who bleed tend to be women who are dealt with roughly during sex. If the guy forces himself inside the girl, when she isn’t ready, relaxed or aroused enough, he is likely to cause injury or bleeding. Because most people think it’s normal for women to bleed the first time they have sex, they don’t realize that this bleeding is a result of the woman having been hurt, and not of the hymen ‘breaking.’ Painful first-time sex is generally because the woman is not relaxed or aroused enough, and gets hurt as a result; it is rarely ever because of the hymen breaking.

      The bottom line is that there is no way to assess female virginity. Bleeding does not have anything to do with virginity – it has to do with the kind of hymen a girl has, and hymens differ from girl to girl from birth. The result is that only a small percentage of women bleed the first time! (Only 37% bleed during first-time sex, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.)

      Why is this so important to be aware of? Women all over the world get abused, injured and even killed due to the myth of ‘virgin bleeding.’ Because most people (men AND women) think that bleeding is a sign of virginity, women who don’t bleed the first time have been divorced, suffered from suspicion leading to domestic violence and abuse, and even killed for honour. Educating people that a girl does not necessarily have to bleed the first time she has sex – because not all girls have thick hymens, and some are born with no hymen at all – is important because it can literally save lives.

      P.S: We understand that not everyone is able to share material like this, even if they want to. However, the only way we can educate people regarding this issue is if it goes into the newsfeeds of as many people as possible, if as many people as possible read it. So please consider sharing. If you can’t share, please like, leave a comment, or forward this to your friends. We need to make content like this visible to increase its reach, to educate people, to have impact. If we can save or better the life of even person with this post, it’s worth it.

      Saif Ud Deen Haider
      Umbrella Films Pvt Ltd.
      #ViaHardTalk #SaveLives #Virginity

      • hlo
        my girlfriend is 18 years old i had sex with her .she told me she was virgin .i knew and i trusted her that she was virgin becase she never lied me and could never cheat me .but when we had sex she didnot bleed .now we had sex 3 times and from the second intercourse its not tight .what coukd it be pls reply mw fast

    • If u luv ur wife,u need,no,HAVE to trust her,or ur marriage won’t last.Or if u don’t believe in divorce then I’ll just b very unhappy.Of course she hasn’t cheated on u,most girls ‘s hymens break b4 they even think about any sexual activity.I really hope u can start 2 trust ur wife,i kno myself wot it’s like 2 b accused of cheating wen u haven’t.Its very painful + frustrating,especially if the relationship ends because of mistrust,paranoia+low self esteem.Believe in urself more +u won’t worry about it,because ull kno she wud never cheat on u,because she’s UR wife + she made vow to stay with u forever.I hope u can start 2 change ur thinking lil bit.Ur a confident,happy,funny good guy,Y wud she ever cheat?Ur more than enough for her….. Right??!!?. Good luck m8…..???????

    • I never saw blood when I lost my virginity. The intercourse was not painful either (until afterwards).
      Trust your wife hasn’t deceived you. All women DO NOT BLEED after the 11st sexual experience.

    • Hi.
      I have a very important question and none of the website answered me.
      I’m 18 years old.
      Last year I had sex BUT, we sexed just with the head of the penis, not completely.just the head of the penis.
      I didn’t see any blood and I had alittle pain.
      Now I don’t know,that I lost my hymen or not.
      Please help’s very important for me.thanks

  6. I had jst intercourse Wid my Gf she is jst 19 n I jst enter my penis into her vagina at first shot she gotta a pain n I removed my penis n suddenly lots of blood came … I haven’t done exactly sex from two days she is in pain I wanna to knw Wat should I do for her nw ….how dat pain will go n her period date is 29 Jan plz do help

  7. A few years ago, I was excercising vigirously when I came to take a shower I noticed an aweful lot of blood. I know it wasn’t menstrual blood because my menses has just ended. My question is, could this mean that my hymen has broke?

  8. i was finged and blood came out please if a dick enter my vagina will blood still come out thats my question

    • well u were fingered and blood came out, this means that your hymen was torn apart, u will not bleed again. buh dont lose hope u r still virgin though since breaking of the hymen does not mean breaking of virginity.

  9. dear, segni bikila, i think the article here itself suggests that there are women born with thick and thin hymen, and often with no hymen at all. How could you judge a virgin by her bleeding? Its not mandatory for a girl to bleed. Its a huge misconception, I personally regard this as a ‘TABOO’ – “not to bleed is a non virgin”. Inshort, you are saying your spouse shouldn’t trust you too.. Afterall guys don’t bleed, right?

  10. Thank you so much my hymen just broke when I put in a tampon and I was freaking out. Ps im 14

  11. What’s really upsetting is the lack of knowledge on all topics related to sex and our vaginas. My health teacher never told us about discharge or diva cups, only preached of the breaking of our hymens, but never on the varying sizes they come in. I didn’t even know until recently that at age 17 you can choose to be put on the pill without parent permission. The emphasis on virginity seems to be the only significant concept regarding the vagina in this society, when really there is no clear definition or even a clear way to classify a girl as a virgin. Virginity is indeed, not real, and I hope that fact can relieve a lot of stress for women who deem themselves impure.

    • I know! It’s insanely stressful and worrisome reading these comments and seeing the amount of misinformation spread about sex!

  12. My question is.. Im 19y/o and I had sex with my boyfriend for the first time but I dint felt it painful at all and I feel like I don’t have hymen. But Im not athletic and nor I do any work out. So is it possible that I don’t have hymen?

  13. I recently had intercourse with my boyfriend. Before this i had only be fingered. It was uncomfortable at first and only slightly painful. We decided to not “pop my cherry” however when he pulled out the second time there was slight bleeding and I’ve been spotting since then (its been roughly 4 days). My question is did he break my hymen or is it only irritated?

  14. I had sex a couple of times with my x.. But in our first intercourse it hurt a lot but I did not bleed… It was my first time.. And it has been 8 months that I am single.. So is it possible that if I have sex in future it might hurt.. I am very curious because then it would mean that I do not have a hymen

  15. A hurdle took out my hymen during a track meet freshman year of college. I bleed. When I lost my virginity, I did not bleed. A lot of these questions were answered in this article. Nobody can give you a definitive answer on what is going on inside your vagina unless they are your doctor and they have had a look. Even then, it is hard to say. Some women are born without a hymen. Some women are born with a thick hymen. Some women are born with a thin hymen. Some women are born with their hymen already separated. To the guy doubting his wife: you are listening to myths passed down over generations that have just been proven to be completely false yet you cling to those lies and don’t trust your wife. Come on! Wake up.

  16. plz tell me whether tears in hymen mean it has been broken and virginity is lost or is it okay…..also i’m from a culture where virginity means intact hymen

    • As a medical student, it depends on how old you are. If you used finger, it could still be in place. however, hymen is not something to worry about. If its not there you could have been broken during workout, running or other heavy tense activities.

  17. I’m 15 I’m wondering if the hymen was torn by fingering would I bleed when I actually have sex and I haven’t had sex I just got fingered

  18. I just had sex and my partner said that I may have broken my hymen because there was a little bit of blood coming out and I am confused because apparently it can’t break…….

  19. It is a misnomer that a woman cannot have a hyman covering the vagina. The fact is that a rare few have a congenital disorder known at imperforate hyman. An imperforate hymen is formed during fetal development when the sinovaginal bulbs fail to canalize with the rest of the vagina. Although some instances of familial occurrence have been reported, the condition’s occurrence is mostly sporadic, and no genetic markers or mutations have been linked to its etiology. Estimates of the frequency of imperforate hymen vary from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000 females. When these men expect a woman to have a fully intact hymen, they are hoping for a congenital defect. That makes total sense… NOT!

  20. My boyfriend won’t believe me that my hymen was already gone before my first time having intercourse. If this is the case, did I lose my virginity when I first put a tampon inside me?

  21. I have a question that I cannot simply find the answer for.. When you have sex for the first time, and let’s say the hymen tears. If it does bleed, will it bleed right then and there during sex, or will it happen the next day?

  22. I’m 16 and I’m scared that when my mom takes me to my first gynecologist appointment I won’t have a hymen and get in trouble I’m still a virgin I’ve never had sex but I have fingered and I tried to look and see if I could see my hymen but it was hard to tell I jus want to know wat u think I should do concerning my mom and my hymen being intact I’m really scared lik I’m crying right now looking for answers

  23. I also don’t work out or do any sport and I haven’t rode a bike since I was little I tried telling her tht a lack of hymen doesn’t mean I’m not a virgin and she said I should still have one cuz I’m not athletic so if I don’t have one I’m lying and I’m in big trouble

  24. I recently started getting intamate with my boyfriend yesterday. But when he first went inside me I felt a really bad pain and started bleeding a lot. It kept coming and coming for about 40 seconds– I had to go sit on the toilet (so embarrassing).. After that I showered and cleaned up and there was really small thin pieces of flesh that came out and I freaked out.. Another thing is that I’m supposed to start my period soon so maybe I figured it had something to do with it? Any way today I have discomfort and minor pain in my vagina and very minor blood leaking and I was wondering if it’s any cause for concern. It’s my first time but I know it shouldn’t have been so much blood (or even pain)…

    • I wanna ask that i am 20 years old my partner insert the tip but he discharged he only inserts a little bit not a proper sex so what should i do if I don’t wanna get pregnant

  25. I am 21. My ex has inserted his penis to my vagina for over 20 times. But at any time it didnt bled. But when i examine through a mirror i saw little tearings on my hymen. Now um gonna marry another guy next month. I wanna know whether will i bleed at my first night.

  26. I have a sex with my x bf and the blood came out during question is that.iam going to get married after 2 years would I got bleeding on my first night or not

  27. I am 23 years old and had sex about 1. 5 year ago… and now i am going to be married.. during sex blood came out of my vagina.. i am worried that my husband will come to know that i had done sex as i wont bleed during sex now.. what should i do know?
    Is there any chance to have vaginal bleeding again during sex?
    Plz tell me

  28. I had sex and we had a few goes today and I was bleeding a little. We’ve had sex twice before but that was 4 and 5months ago and then I went home and I pleasured myself because I was still In the mood and ive been bleeding a little more since.I put a panty liner on bc I did t want to bleed in my panties and I just went to the bathroom and I saw the chunk of I dont know what I was thinking it was my hymen.. But I’m so scared Idk what it is.. Help

  29. I was fingered on Saturday night and it hurt a lot! I noticed the next morning that i started to bleed and have been bleeding since, today is Tuesday. it appears to be no more blood than what i would get on my period but im freaking! SEND HELP

    • You should NOT bleed or feel pain from penetration (fingers or otherwise)–if you do there you are likely not significantly lubricated or aroused. Also, the state of your hymen has no bearing on whether or not you are a virgin because your hymen cannot “break”.
      Hope that helped answer your question.

  30. My question is, I’m 20 years old and I had sex for the first time a few months ago, and I felt pain but I didn’t bleed, my boyfriend asked me are you sure your a virgin, you didn’t bleed and it just feels like you haven’t had sex in awhile, but he was the first guy I every really talked to. Its been on my mind since, and I told him that yes I’m sure in a virgin and I don’t know why I didn’t bleed. I never wore tampons until after I had sex, never was in any sports in school, nor did I ever do any physical activity, I barely even exercise. So could I be one of those women without a hymen?

    • You should NOT bleed or feel pain from sex–if you do there you are likely not significantly lubricated or aroused. Also, the state of your hymen has no bearing on whether or not you are a virgin because your hymen cannot “break”.
      Hope that helped answer your question.

  31. Hi, I’m 21 years old & I also wanna ask a question about hymen. 8 months ago I had sex with my boyfriend for the first time in my life. I was felt & hurt but there wasn’t any bleeding. After we had sex about 3 more times & totally 4 times with the initial. But there wasn’t any bleeding anytime. So I’m confused about this. Is my hymen already broken or not then how can I know that exactly? And if it’s broken why didn’t I get bleeding? Please help! ?

    • You should NOT bleed or feel pain from sex–if you do there you are likely not significantly lubricated or aroused. Also, the state of your hymen has no bearing on whether or not you are a virgin because your hymen cannot “break”.
      Hope that helped answer your question.

  32. My boyfriend and I have had sex two times and my hymen has not torn. Should I be concerned? This leads him to think i’ve been with someone else, which is false. I’m scared that something is wrong with my body. Please help!

    • Your hymen may or may not tear with penetrative sex–not everybody’s does. Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you. Additionally, please tell your boyfriend that it is impossible to tell a woman’s status as either a “virgin” or otherwise from the state of her hymen.

  33. i first had sex when i was 16 and it didn’t hurt and there was no blood i asked other people they said that was weird i don’t know why i didn’t bleed or hurt do u?

    • You were likely significantly lubricated & there should not be blood or pain. So, in short: you’re normal. 🙂

  34. sir/mam,
    now i am a girl 25 years old..and i had physical relation with 1boy then after him 2nd boy but i rarely did sex even 2 or 3 times in a month…this would be for 2 yrs and rarely 15 times sex in these 2 years..but now i feel very regretion on my mistake…so plz tell me..will this make problem in my married life..related to my ruptured hymen

  35. Hi my girlfriend bled first time we had sex. she was very tight and it took me a long time to enter her. Was the hymen still intact? Will not having sex for a long time make it hard to penetrate? She said she had sharp pains and cramps. Will a woman lie and say she’s not a virgin? I’m really confused

    • It doesn’t matter if she is or not and the hymin can break from other activities other than sex

  36. I did enjoy the Article but am still Confused, Am almost 19 and i havent had sex,I have tried with my boyfriend and the pain is so excruciating yet am still not opened, Its as if its unbearable…. i need help on what to do
    Could it be my hymen its So Thick? cause i asked my Girlfriends and they said it wasnt so painful.

    • No, more likely you need to be more lubricated. Spend more time participating in foreplay before penetrative sex and invest in some lubrication (you can buy it on Amazon for relatively cheap).
      Hope that helps.

  37. I was sexually assualted by man who was a massage therapist that I met through a friend. Oddly he had me take off all my clothes when all I wanted done was my back and shoulders.My friend was in the room the whole time.He ended up fingering me. I couldn’t move,or scream, I just laid there… I finally told the police about 12 days or so later. Now I have a preliminary hearing on the 18th & I have to testify. Is this the same as rape?

  38. When I was younger I was “first” for four different girls aged 18 to 20. There was never any bleeding, never any tissue barrier. Penetration was difficult in three of the girls because they were so tense being afraid of pain. At the time I was happy; I didn’t want blood on my penis. I only wanted both of us to have a good time. I didn’t think the 3 girls who were so afraid had lied to me; but while the sex was OK-to-good, it was overshadowed by them needing to be consoled about not bleeding and reassured that I believed they hadn’t lied to me. I gave up sex with virgins; too much stress. This article helped me to finally understand what happened back then.

    I think the 4th girl lied about me being first; but I had the best time with her, so I didn’t care.

  39. i had sex one time when i was 19yrs and i bleed. am now 25yrs and will soon marry. will i still bleed and have pain the second time or not.

  40. Hello frnds !! I am Maneet I am 19 yrs old my hymen broke when I have 4th time sex with my partner and I bleed for one day. So I am worried why it was not on first day please tell me what the reason behind this

  41. Most of the answers I read on the internet or magazines are totally wrong, stupid and proving ignorance of female genital physiology and anatomy, as well as the facts concerning the hymen.
    The most important fact is that TEARING THE HYMEN IS NOT THE PAINFUL FACTOR BECAUSE THE HYMEN ITSELF HAS NO NERVE INNERVATION. In short, the hymen itself is not pain sensitive, and when it gets broken, the girl hardly even notices. The popular rumor saying that “the pain is caused by tearing the hymen” is a total lie. It is true, however, that breaking the hymen may (and may not) cause some bleeding.
    What is, then, the cause to the pain that many girls experience during their first sexual intercourse?
    There are, actually, two causes. The first is the fact that, unlike the hymen, the vaginal vestibule is very richly supplied with nerves, and is very sensitive. When the penis is pushing onto the insensitive hymen, the hymen stretches and PULLS ITS PERIPHERAL where it is attached to the sensitive vagina membrane. The principle is similar to pulling your hair: while the hairs themselves are not sensitive at all, the skin from which they grow is sensitive, so pulling the hairs is painful – but not in the hairs themselves but in the skin they’re attached to. This is why the pain increases with the hymen thickness: When the hymen is normally thin, it painlessly tears and does not pull the sensitive vestibular vagina tissue. But when the hymen is very thick and does not tear, it strongly pulls the mucous membrane of the vagina vestibule, which is, of course, painful. That’s why the first sexual intercourse is painful when the hymen does not break, while it is painless when the hymen does tear easily. How logical.
    Then, there is the second factor that may cause pain. The vagina before the first sexual intercourse is not used to be stretched up to the extent that the penis does. The vaginal muscles get stretched into unprecedented measure, which may cause blunt pain and pressure. This pain, however, can also be experienced by women who are no more virgins.
    In short, the main reason why some girls experience pain during the first sex HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TEARING THE HYMEN. To the contrary, the pain comes if the hymen does NOT tear.

  42. […] hymen has long been used as a symbol of virginity, but many medical professionals have disproven the idea that an intact hymen means a woman is a virgin. The hymen is a thin membrane of tissues […]

  43. […] People tend to think of the hymen as a flat bit of skin draped across the entire vaginal opening which “breaks” when penetrated. The reality is that some people don’t even have a hymen, while for others it’s actually more like a “fringe of tissue”, Carol Roye, a nursing professor at Hunter College and nurse practitioner, told Our Bodies Our Selves. […]

  44. […] People tend to think of the hymen as a flat bit of skin draped across the entire vaginal opening which “breaks” when penetrated. The reality is that some people don’t even have a hymen, while for others it’s actually more like a “fringe of tissue”, Carol Roye, a nursing professor at Hunter College and nurse practitioner, told Our Bodies Our Selves. […]

  45. […] Other folks have a tendency to consider the hymen as a flat little bit of pores and skin draped throughout all the vaginal opening which “breaks” when penetrated. The truth is that some other folks don’t actually have a hymen, whilst for others it’s in fact extra like a “edge of tissue”, Carol Roye, a nursing professor at Hunter Faculty and nurse practitioner, informed Our Bodies Our Selves. […]

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