Q. What is Hymen? A. The hymen is a thin, fleshy membrane that in some girls and young women is found at the opening to the vagina. It has a central perforation, which can be round or elongated, through which menstrual blood will flow. It is also called "maidenhead".
Q. Is hymen an evidence of virginity? A. For a long time, it was believed that an intact hymen was evidence of a girl's virginity, as the hymen posed a barrier to sexual intercourse.
Some girls who are still virgins have no hymen at all. Also there have been some cases in which girls who have had several sexual intercources had an intact Hymen. This condition is also called as elastic hymen. A minor surgical procedure should remove the hymen is such cases as elastic hymens sometimes do cause pain during sexual intercourse.
Girls who do have a hymen can break their hymen in a number of differerent ways, many times without even knowing it.
Some of the non-sexual ways in which a hymen will tear are:
1. Through an accident or injury. 2. Horseback riding, bicycling, high jumping, gymnastics or similar sports. 3. Insertion of finger or instrument by doctor during pelvic exam. 4. Tampon insertion. etc..
While the presence of a hymen indicates virginity, the absence of one is definately not a proof a girl is not a virgin.
Since an intact hymen can be stretched and split by an erect penis during sexual intercourse, a woman may feel momentary discomfort and may bleed. Should either persist, a doctor should be consulted. On the other hand, there may be no blood or pain involved at all when the hymen is torn.
Q. Did you know Who was Hymen? A. According to sources, the hymen is named after the Greek god Hymenaeus. Son of Bacchus and Venus, Hymenaeus earned his reputation as the god of marriage and weddings.
Q. Do you know the alternate word for the breaking of hymen? A. They call it 'Defloration'.
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Illustrations of the hymen in various states
This shows the names of the parts of the vulva. The rest of the illustrations do not have labels.
This is a perfect annular hymen. It is called annular because the hymen forms a ring around the vaginal opening. As the hymen starts to erode from sexual or other activity, the hymen becomes less ring-like.
This is a crescentic, or lunar, hymen. It forms a crescent shape, like a half moon, above or (as in this case) below the vaginal opening.
The hymen of a female with some sexual or masturbatory (internal) experience is apt to look something like this. Note that it is much less ring-like than the annular hymen.
This is what the hymen of a female who has only had a small amount of sexual activity or object insertion would look like. Health professionals who examine hymens for signs of sexual abuse are usually most interested in the posterior part of the hymen, from the 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock position. This is normally where the hymen breaks when the vagina is first penetrated.
This is the vulva of a woman who has given birth. The hymen is completely gone, or nearly so.
One in 2000 girls is born with an imperforate hymen. A doctor will do surgery to create a hole in the hymen of such a newborn.
This is a rare cribriform hymen, characterized by many small holes. This type of hymen lets menstrual and other fluids out with no problem, but sexual activity and the insertion of tampons can be problematic.
This is a rare denticular hymen, so called because it looks like a set of teeth surrounding the vaginal opening.
This is a rare fimbriated hymen, with an irregular pattern around the vaginal opening.
This rare labial hymen looks like a third set of vulvar lips.
Some girls are born with only a tiny hole in their hymens. Surgery is also necessary for these newborns to create a larger vaginal opening.
This rarity is called a septate hymen because of the piece of hymen that makes a septum, or bridge, across the vaginal opening.
This is the rare subseptate hymen, similar to the septate hymen only not making a bridge all the way across. Doesn't this remind you of the view into your throat with the uvula hanging down?
To learn more about hymens and how the medical community advises to examine them for signs of sexual abuse, see this site.
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Do you like to take surveys? A new female survey is online. Won't you please help us out by completing it? It is completely anonymous. Click here to take this fun and interesting survey. This is different from the survey that was open from October 2008 to February 2009. Even if you took that one, will you please take this one?
HealthyStrokes.com is not designed to provide medical advice and does not provide medical advice. All material is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on HealthyStrokes.com carefully and confer with your doctor, psychologist, or other health care professional as needed.