The hymen, much more than a sign of virginity

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The female reproductive system is made up of different organs. The hymen is one of the most named, and yet one of the most unknown, since its symbolic meaning has had great importance at a social and cultural level because it is related to the virginity of women.

From the physiological point of view, the hymen is a thin membrane of tissue, fragile and incomplete, which is found in the vaginal orifice, covering it in part but not completely, otherwise menstruation would not be possible. On the rare occasions when the hymen completely covers the entrance to the vagina, it is necessary to perform a surgical operation.

Causes of hymen rupture in women

  • This is the case of the so-called “rigid hymen”, which is thicker than usual. The hymen is usually a flexible layer that can be torn slightly by certain activities. This is where the myth that relates the breaking of the hymen to virginity enters. It is possible that in the first sexual relationship, if it is not sufficiently lubricated, the hymen may suffer a small tear, causing pain and some bleeding.
  • But this does not happen in all cases, it is not even something that can be suffered only once, since the hymen does not disappear, and it may have been torn previously due to certain activities such as sports, riding a bike, or even due to the use of tampons. That is why the pain decreases the greater the flexibility of the hymen and the more relaxed you are before having a sexual relationship.
  • Due to the importance of hymen rupture in certain cultures, which associate it with the virginity and chastity of women, companies have emerged in recent years that offer an intervention that can “reconstruct” the hymen membrane. This operation carries the risk of leaving the hymen membrane completely blocking the opening of the vagina, which would prevent menstruation from taking place normally.

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