Physical growth is a function of time, but most of us lack a clear understanding of our body and the changes it undergoes. Several questions arise in our minds during the stages of development, many of which go unanswered. Being born in an Indian society, finding answers to many questions about sex, virginity, and other regular body changes can be difficult as discussions on these topics are seen as a taboo against our culture. These subjects are never brought in for open discussions in families as they feel it may mislead and distract young minds.
Often, women are uncertain about topics like virginity and hymen, which can result in misconceptions. Insufficient knowledge of these subjects can be harmful as there are several myths about this topic. Here are some answers to questions you may have regarding virginity and hymen. Some questions might seem really silly. But, it is important to answer them too. Let’s get started.
What is hymen?
The thin membranous tissue located in the opening of your vagina is called the hymen. It consists of nerve endings, muscle fibers, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
Is hymen visible to naked eyes? What is the purpose of it?
The hymen is visible, and it usually lies within 1-2cm of the vaginal opening. Hymen act like a barrier that restricts infectious agents from entering our vagina.
Are there different types of Hymens?
Medically hymens are classified into five types. Normal hymen, imperforate hymen, microperforated hymen, cribriform hymen and septate hymen. The common appearance of the hymen is crescent shaped. But, there can be variations. An imperforate hymen is a condition where the hymen tissues completely cover the vagina, blocking all vaginal secretions and menstrual blood. This can be identified at childbirth itself, but generally diagnosed during puberty.
Microperforated hymen is a situation where the opening is very small. Secretions and blood will come out, but can cause pain. Cribriform hymen is a condition where there are multiple micro openings on the hymen. When there is an extra band of tissue in the middle of the hymen, it is called septate hymen, causing two vaginal openings. All these variations can be corrected mostly with a minor surgical procedure.
How does menstrual blood flow through hymen?
The hymens have an opening to the vagina which lets blood flow through it. Imperforate hymen has no opening which causes difficulty to menstruate, in such cases, it is essential to take medical support.
What is virginity? Does hymen determine virginity?
A virgin is someone who never had sex before. The hymen is not a reliable indicator of virginity even though it is considered a determiner in several cultures. The Association of hymen with virginity is a myth as the hymen can stretch to various factors. And, it is very important to create awareness about this.
Can virginity be regained?
Common definition of a virgin is someone who never had sex before. And we have seen that this definition itself needs to be changed. People also perceive that stretching of the vagina indicates losing of virginity but as hymen can stretch due to other factors this cannot determine if a person is a virgin or not. Choose your own definition of virginity just like you'll choose when to have sex and when not.
Is there a specific time or age barrier for losing virginity?
There is no right time to lose virginity. Indulging in sexual activity is a personal choice and you can make a choice when you are ready for it. There are established laws about the age of consent. It is the age at which an individual is considered competent enough to consent to sexual acts. It is not just about the age too. Losing your virginity is not like applying for your driver’s license. You don’t have to do it just because you are legally free to do it.
The bottom line
There are several myths about virginity and hymen that can cause confusion and misconceptions in young women. Having proper knowledge on this topic is very essential for a woman so that she can understand her body and the changes that can happen after the so-called 'loss of virginity', as well as can guide teen girls who are having similar doubts which are left unanswered by society.
Learning new things and correcting misbeliefs should lead us to the next step, taking care of our vagina. Carmesi has a good range of products for overall care and some of them are specifically focused on Intimate Care. The Carmesi Intimate Cleanser is a 100% natural cleanser that cleans your vulva thoroughly while maintaining hygiene and pH of your vagina. Carmesi Panty Liners are made to provide adequate protection for light spotting, discharge, and incontinence to keep you feeling fresh all day.
What is the biggest myth that you have heard related to virginity and hymen? What do you want to know more about? Share with us. Let’s learn together and get empowered.