The hymen is the stuff of legend and lore in many cultures, the treasured prize a woman gives her husband on their wedding night. People often do not know what it looks like or what really happens to it when virginity is lost. For example, some of my teen patients have questions about a partner male or female inserting a finger into a vagina. If a girl uses a tampon does that cause her to lose her virginity? If she falls off her bike, might that affect her hymen, and thus her virginity?
Breaking the Hymen: 6 Facts and Myths About Virginity
Hymen Facts and Evidence of Virginity
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article and its Additional file 1. So-called virginity testing, also referred to as hymen, two-finger, or per vaginal examination, is the inspection of the female genitalia to assess if the examinee has had or has been habituated to sexual intercourse. This paper is the first systematic review of available evidence on the medical utility of virginity testing by hymen examination and its potential impacts on the examinee. Ten electronic databases and other sources for articles published in English were systematically searched from database inception until January Studies reporting on the medical utility or impact on the examinee of virginity testing were included.
Virginity testing: a systematic review
Can only women be virgins? Can a person only lose their virginity through penetrative, heteronormative intercourse? Sex arguably varies as much from partner to partner as it does from gender to gender, so, sexually active queer people can hardly be considered virginal. The issues and standards surrounding virginity are emotionally heavy for most people, to varying degrees.
The hymen, or "maidenhead," is a thin, fleshy membrane in some girls and young women that is located at the opening to the vagina. Normally a hymen has a central perforation, which can be round or elongated, and through it menstrual blood will flow. For a long time, it was believed that an intact hymen was evidence of a girl's virginity, as the hymen posed a physical barrier to sexual intercourse. An intact hymen can be stretched and split by an erect penis during sexual intercourse. Should the pain or bleeding persist, a consultation with a doctor is in order.