The female body is a mystery. Adding to this are a number of beliefs and taboos associated with her sexuality and purity. It is time we need to clear our understanding of this part of the female anatomy.
This long debated and hush hushed part of the body is a thin membrane that covers the vagina. Most of our understanding of it is based on popularised hearsay that mystifies and associates it with judgements about a woman’s experience with love making. It is held that the hymen tears apart or rips during sexual intercourse which is why you experience pain and bleed during your first. However, research proves otherwise.
The hymen is still a misunderstood part of the female body which requires a clearer explanation. Here are a few facts that you need to learn.
The hymen covers only a part of your vagina:
Only the lower part of your vagina’s opening does the hymen cover. Quite seldom does the hymen cover the entire vaginal opening which is called the imperforated hymen (experienced by one in two hundred women). In fact, one can find a number of different varieties of the hymen. By adolescence, it will get thinner and in a mother, you will never be able to tell where it previously existed.
Hymen abnormalities might need to be operated on
At times the hymen may have smaller openings. Such a deformity or an imperforated hymen might require surgery. The later is actually a condition in which women might experience cramping during periods but no discharge as such as the blood might not find a passage to ooze out. This can be treated with professional medical attention.
The purpose of its existence is a mystery
Even medical experts aren’t too sure about the purpose a hymen serves. Its absence does no harm and similarly its presence isn’t all too useful.
Its breakage cannot be guaranteed during first-time sex
Your virginity cannot be guaranteed with the existence or non- existence of your hymen. Your hymen is extremely thin and many other physical activities can lead to its breakage like swimming, jumping, cycling, using tampons, a vaginal examination by your gynae or even masturbation.
You might never feel when it tears apart
If you break it during sex, you will (although that’s not entirely the case since discomfort during sex might be the result of a lack of sufficient foreplay or skill, rough sex or built up anxiousness caused by myths). But if it is a result of other activities you will not. Even if your bleed, it will be so less, that you might just never remember the time you bled or might confuse it with period spotting.
It is still an issue in certain cultures
It is still a matter associated with a woman’s dignity in cultures, especially Asian. A woman who doesn’t prove her virginity (if she fails to bleed and experience pain) during the first night of her marriage, is looked down upon and ridiculed by her in-laws. A number of criminal cases have been reported about women being tortured for the same.
However, the good news: medical science has come up with procedures that can recreate a hymen.
Now that we have clarified things for you, let’s embrace a woman for who she is and stop demonising or judging her based on something as trivial as a hymen.
Born and brought up in India, Anushree's thoughts have been conditioned by a surrounding diverse in all aspects. She aspires to travel round the world and have a taste of the culture, food and music. Her Masters in Political Science has given her a reality check as to where India stands in enlightening its womenfolk. Writing gives her the freedom to materialize her ideas and allow people to sneak into her mind. She finds it fun and liberating.