The hymen—the small lining of tissue that partly covers the quality opening—is virtually synonymous through a slew that lady-part myths: You’re not a virgin if you’ve popped your "cherry"! You’ll bleed the an initial time you have actually sex! psychic those from earlier in the day?

Sigh. It’s time to gain the story straight. Here, the hymen truth you never ever knew you needed in her life:

1. The Hymen Doesn’t completely Cover her VaginaThe most “normal” way the hymen presents chin is as thin tissue simply at the bottom that the vaginal opening, says Fahimeh Sasan, medical professional of osteopathy, one ob-gyn at The mountain Sinai Hospital in new York. “If someone has tissue the covers the entirety opening, that’s referred to as an imperforated hymen,” she says. There room other similar abnormal variants, too, where openings in the tissue are too small.

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2. Abnormal Hymens can Require SurgeryIf her hymen is imperforated or be separate (where there are two small holes in the tissue), you might need to have actually a boy surgery, states Sasan. In fact, an imperforated hymen is in reality a clinical condition—you’re acquiring your duration but don’t have the physical discharge due to the fact that it can’t happen through, she says. “In a truly perforated hymen, a young woman might say, ‘I’ve never had a period, but I feel favor I gain cramps.’” The boy surgery deserve to fix the issue.

3. Professionals Aren’t certain of that PurposeYour nose helps you smell, and your urethra is whereby you pee—but the hymen doesn’t show up to serve any major purpose. “Physiologically, it’s there—but native a medical perspective, it’s akin to the foreskin that the penis: We’re not sure why it’s there,” states Sasan.

4. That Doesn’t always Break the first Time You have SexYou’ve heard that when you lose your virginity, you additionally pop her cherry. “One of the large myths is that whether or no someone’s hymen is detached is a sign of virginity,” states Sasan. “That’s no true.” Why? since there room other methods you can tear it besides sex. Rigorous exercise, gymnastics, horseback riding, cycling, using big tampons, manipulation through a finger, or a pelvic exam room all feasible (but no surefire) methods to tear her hymen, she says.

5. You can Not know When that BreaksWhen girlfriend break her arm, you know the moment it happens—that’s not constantly the case here, claims Sasan. If the tissue does tear during sex, friend may discover intercourse painful and also experience bleeding, she explains. However if the tear occurs during gymnastics or native wearing large tampons, because that example, you might not also be conscious of it. “Someone could say, ‘I bled after gymnastics,’ yet might simply think it’s spotting from her period,” says Sasan.

6. Some societies Still Obsess around ItDespite the truth that the hymen isn’t always a sign of virginity, some still treat undamaged tissue together a sign of purity. “In a many cultures, the hymen has come to be a substantial thing,” claims Sasan. “People also check before a ladies gets married to confirm that she’s a virgin.”

And when it’s by no way common exercise in the unified States, Sasan says that literature on the topic shows that over there is a procedure in i m sorry a doctor have the right to recreate the hymen so the it shows up “intact” for cultural purposes, maybe to prove virginity come a future husband, she notes.

7. When It Tears, You never Really resolve It AgainRemember: The hymen is a very small fragment of tissue, says Sasan. And if girlfriend do notice it break, it just goes off to the next or sloughs off never ever to be dealt with again. “In a woman who’s had actually a baby, you can’t even tell whereby it would have actually been,” she says.

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Cassie ShortsleeveFreelance WriterCassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance writer and editor with almost a decade of suffer reporting top top all points health, fitness, and travel.
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