WTF Is Going On With Your Hymen?

Hi Heather,

I’m feeling really confused about what exactly happens with your hymen. I hear everyone say things about “breaking your hymen,” which sounds so violent and scary. Does it hurt? Do you bleed a lot? Will it definitely happen the first time you have sex? It makes me feel so nervous.

You bring up a really good point here, even if you didn’t mean to. Saying that you “break” your hymen is actually pretty misleading, because you’re right, it does sound violent and scary… and it’s not! When it comes to your hymen, I can assure you that you probably have nothing to be nervous about.

When people say that you “break your hymen,” what they actually mean is that you can tear it. I’m not sure how the term “break” got to be so common in this particular instance, but it did, and now it’s what everyone says. I can see why that kind of violent imagery would make anyone feel freaked out. Here’s the real deal: the hymen is a thin piece of tissue that lines the vaginal opening. The hymen should have a small opening that is typically big enough for the tip of your finger or a small tampon.

The hymen stretches – when you’re gentle with it. If you aren’t gentle, that’s when it can tear (or, as everyone says, break). If it tears, it may cause a little bit of bleeding, which is why a lot of people say you’ll bleed the first time you have sex (we’ll get back to that in a minute). But, it doesn’t have to tear – if you gently work on stretching your hymen, it likely won’t “break.”

There are a lot of different ways your hymen can tear, which is exactly why it’s so ridiculous to look at a hymen as a symbol of virginity (which unfortunately still happens). You can tear your hymen from playing sports, masturbating, putting a tampon in, or just fooling around without going all the way. It’s typically not painful – a lot of girls don’t even realize when it happens.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stress about your hymen tearing. It’s not as violent as it sounds, and it’s something that happens all the time. It sounds way scarier than it is, trust me!

take care,

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  • only1me3000

    if it breaks do you still get to keep your period? please tell me!

  • terri

    1. Do you wear underwear every day? 24/7
    2. How often do you go without underwear? never

    3. When was the last time you didn’t wear underwear? years ago

    4. Have you ever not worn underwear and then suffered a wardrobe malfunction? no

    5. What underwear are you wearing right now? vanity fair ravissant nylon briefs

    6. Describe your favorite pair of undies. see 5. above

    7. Where do you buy most of your underwear? on line

    8. What’s better: thongs, boyshorts, g-strings or bikini? briefs

    9. What kind do you own the most of? briefs
    10. Do you like lace underwear?

    11. Do you have a special pair you only wear when you’re going to hook up with someone? black see through nylon panties

    12. What’s your favorite color underwear? pink
    13. Do you think you look good in just underwear? yes

    14. Which celebrity do you wish you could see in their underwear? ?

    15. Do you let your friends see you in your underwear? no

    16. What’s too much money to spend on undies? 15.00

    17. Do you own any really sexy lingerie? yes

    18. Do you have any granny panties? yes assuming briefs are granny panties

    19. Who was the last person who saw you in your underwear? spouse

    20. Describe the ugliest underwear you have. men’s briefs with a fly ):

    Read more:

  • Caitlin

    Hey Korah! I’m sorry I just saw this! I hope you still read my reply. So I’ve tried to have sex before too, and it’s basically like a wall. Nothing goes in, not even tampons, fingers, etc. In order to hopefully join a swim team, I’d have to be able to use tampons. Not to mention it’d be nice to not be a virgin for life lol. My mom doesn’t want me to get the surgery, so I’m doing it in secret. Your health care provider will have a patient confidentiality policy so if your parents finding out is a concern, they won’t find out. Also, the procedure is cost-free for me, although it may vary depending on what insurance you have. You aren’t alone! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

    • Allie

      Hi Caitlin I read your comment and I figured you could help me. I feel kind silly asking this at my age, but I don’t know what is normal for the anatomy of a vagina… I’ve heard that the “plug” to the uterus is “a myth, its just a piece of skin that gets irritated and tears”. But mine actually feels like a plug – not sure how else to describe it but is that normal? Plus … This may sound weird… The front most part feels like a penis shaft, which makes me wonder if those skin-dents means my hymen was broken. Could it be?

  • Caitlin

    There actually are other types of hymens that, though rare, do need to be broken. I have what’s called a septate hymen, which is a vertical band of tissue that covers my opening, but there are also microperforate and imperforate hymens. People should be more educated about these types too so they are not confused like me the first time they try to use a tampon and it doesn’t go in. I’ll be getting a minor surgery for mine.

    • Korah

      I have a separate hymen also , there’s not alot of information out there to tell me what happened to mine but when i had sex & it tore it didn’t tear all the way so it hangs down now & i have to have minor surgery to get it removed as well. Do u mind telling me more about why your having surgery for yours ? It’s embarrassing & doesn’t happen to alot of girls so i would like to know more & not feel so alone. Thanks c: