There are several myths flying around when it comes to female virginity and the hymen.
But we will start the from the correct to the incorrect
From the idea that is a symbol of virginity to every woman having it, the hymen has been grossly misunderstood. However, this is to help dispel some of the myths surrounding this particular membrane. Do you also know that human beings are the only mammals said to have a hymen? Well, now you do.
What is the Hymen: The hymen is a thin sheet of tissue that covers the entrance of the vagina and was named after the Greek god of marriage, it was used as symbol of chastity among women in many cultures and religions, and in some cultures a bedsheet stained with blood was proof of a person’s virginity,
This brings us to the first myth:
Every woman must bleed during her first time: This is not entirely true as greater than 40% of women do not bleed during their first sexual experience, there are different types of hymens, ranging from one that completely covers the entrance of the vagina to one that has a hole in the middle that can admit one or two fingers to one that is just a slit in the middle of the vagina
One study even revealed that the hymen after puberty is so elastic that it can allow sexual penetration without tearing, in fact, there are some factors that may increase the chances of bleeding during first sexual intercourse like: when sex is forced, when she is not aroused, inadequate lubrication, a vaginal infection, some malformations (e.g. imperforate hymen), a generalized bleeding disorder, or if the girl hasn’t attained puberty yet
Even violent penetration can lead to tears in the wall of the vagina, rather than the hymen itself and can lead to bleeding.
Take a look at the different types of hymens here:
There is a rare kind known as the “imperforatus” which simply means “without a hole” that can cause problems during menstruation, as the menstrual fluid does not flow out and is still within her vagina
This leads to a collection of fluid within the vagina known as “hematocolpos”, hema means blood by the way.
It can be treated with just nicking a cut in the hymen and letting the blood out, however, this creates some problems as the girls no longer feel like they are virgins.
Only Sexual Intercourse can break the hymen:
This is not entirely true as there have been cases of violent sports, falling on sharp objects, surgical procedures to using tampons have been documented as causes where the hymen was broken without sex,
It is important to note that the hymen is extremely thin and is easily torn
The Hymen has a job
This is wrong as the hymen has no known biological function and breaking it has no medical consequence, asides from the cultural and religious attachments to it, it has no function
An intact hymen makes one a virgin
Again, this is false, a person is regarded as a virgin when they have had no experience of sexual intercourse whatsoever, and not if their hymen is intact,
Like we pointed out, it is possible to have sex with an intact hymen because of how stretchy it becomes after a person attains puberty