As kids we were taught that the hymen is a thin layer of skin covering the opening of your vulva that always “pops” at “first contact.”
Also, the tearing of the hymen causes a lot of women to bleed, right?
But what if you did not bleed the first time you had intercourse? Then I`m guessing it accidentally “popped” when riding a horse, right?
Well, seems like, everything you were taught about your virginity was wrong, because it is impossible to know if someone lost their virginity by looking at their hymen.
In fact, according to Rose Olsen (a medical student at the University of Minnesota and the lead author of a review paper on “virginity testing” published in the journal Reproductive Health) the hymen does not “break” at “first contact” and just by looking at it you can`t prove if someone had intercourse or anything about their “making love” history. Every hymen looks different and even some of the most experienced doctors can tell the difference between a “virgin” hymen and a “non-virgin.”
As you can see, hymens like vulvas come in various shapes and sizes.
Some are even born without hymens and the hole in the middle can vary a lot depending if the vulva was penetrated or not.
The only thing that changes during regular intercourse is that the hymen becomes or can become more flexible.
Here is another interesting info: If it does tear, it will heal. It doesn’t stay that way forever.
Most injuries heal over time, some even with no evidence of prior trauma and so does the hymen. You can`t tell if it`s “broken” or not.
Over time, the hymen does naturally shrink.
When you`re young the hymen can be very noticeable, but in time, due to hormones, it will shrink (atrophied is the technical term) to a barely noticeable size, whether you`ve had intercourse or not.
“The hymen is a thin, flexible piece of tissue that changes with time and exposure to oestrogen in puberty. It can stretch and tear easily. By the time you first have intercourse, it may already be undetectable,” Olson says.
“‘Virginity’ is not a medical term, it is a gender-based social and cultural construct. It has been used to sexually exploit and humiliate women and girls throughout history. Its definition changes depending on who you talk to. We need to change how we talk about virginity,” says Olson.