The hymen—the tiny lining of tissue that partially covers the vaginal opening—is virtually identified with a slew of lady-component myths: You’re not a virgin if you’ve popped your "cherry"! You’ll bleed the first time you have actually sex! Remember those from back in the day?

Sigh. It’s time to acquire the story directly. Here, the hymales facts you never before knew you essential in your life:

1. The Hymen Doesn’t Totally Cover Your VaginaThe most “normal” way the hymales presents itself is as thin tproblem just at the bottom of the vaginal opening, claims Fahimeh Sasan, doctor of osteopathy, an ob-gyn at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “If someone has tissue that covers the entirety opening, that’s dubbed an imperforated hyguys,” she states. Tright here are various other similar abnormal variants, also, wbelow openings in the tissue are also little.

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2. Abnormal Hymens Can Require SurgeryIf your hymen is imperforated or separated (wright here tbelow are 2 little holes in the tissue), you may must have actually a minor surgery, says Sasan. In fact, an imperforated hymen is actually a clinical condition—you’re acquiring your duration yet don’t have the physical discharge because it can’t pass via, she says. “In a truly perforated hymales, a young womale might say, ‘I’ve never before had actually a period, however I feel like I obtain cramps.’” The minor surgical procedure can deal with the problem.

3. Experts Aren’t Sure of Its PurposeYour nose helps you smell, and also your urethra is wright here you pee—however the hyguys doesn’t appear to serve any type of significant function. “Physiologically, it’s there—but from a medical perspective, it’s akin to the foreskin of the penis: We’re not certain why it’s tright here,” says Sasan.

4. It Doesn’t Almethods Break the First Time You Have SexYou’ve heard that when you shed your virginity, you likewise pop your cherry. “One of the substantial myths is that whether or not someone’s hymales is detached is a sign of virginity,” says Sasan. “That’s not true.” Why? Since tbelow are other ways you have the right to tear it besides sex. Rigorous exercise, gymnastics, horseback riding, cycling, making use of huge tampons, manipulation through a finger, or a pelvic exam are all possible (yet not surefire) ways to tear your hymales, she says.

5. You Might Not Know When It BreaksWhen you break your arm, you know the minute it happens—that’s not constantly the instance below, states Sasan. If the tissue does tear during sex, you may discover intercourse painful and endure bleeding, she explains. But if the tear occurs during gymnastics or from wearing large tampons, for instance, you may not also be aware of it. “Someone might say, ‘I bled after gymnastics,’ yet might just think it’s spotting from her period,” says Sasan.

6. Some Cultures Still Obsess About ItIn spite of the truth that the hymen isn’t constantly a sign of virginity, some still treat undamaged tissue as a authorize of purity. “In a lot of cultures, the hymen has actually come to be a vast thing,” states Sasan. “People even examine prior to a women gets married to confirm that she’s a virgin.”

And while it’s by no implies prevalent practice in the USA, Sasan claims that literary works on the topic reflects that tright here is a procedure in which a doctor deserve to recreate the hyguys so that it shows up “intact” for social objectives, perhaps to prove virginity to a future husband, she notes.

7. Once It Tears, You Never Really Deal via It AgainRemember: The hymen is a really little fragment of tconcern, says Sasan. And if you do notice it break, it simply goes off to the side or sloughs off never to be dealt with aacquire. “In a woguy who’s had a baby, you can’t also tell wbelow it would certainly have actually been,” she states.

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Cassie ShortsleeveFreelance WriterCassie Shortsleeve is a experienced freelance writer and also editor via virtually a decade of endure reporting on all things health and wellness, fitness, and also travel.
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