Common myths about the hymen

Have you grown up believing that the hymen is a membrane that covers the entire opening of the vagina, and that if anything is inserted, it will break?

If so, we’ve got news for you! You can only tear your hymen if you have sexual intercourse. This is why virginity is associated with if you’ve had sexual intercourse before. However, there is a common misconception about “breaking your hymen”.

First of all, the hymen is a soft membrane (which often looks like the shape of a donut) that surrounds the opening of the vagina. Another word for the hymen is a “vaginal corona”. This means that because the hymen is a membrane, it cannot break but can only stretch or tear.

The hymen is not a seal which covers the opening of the vagina and is broken when you have sex. If this were the case, then girls would have no blood leaving their bodies when they menstruate as the opening would be completely sealed off and there would be no “pathway”. 

Having a hymen in-tact should also not be a test for whether a girl is a virgin or not, because virginity is strictly associated with having had sexual intercourse or not. It is not based on whether your hymen is in-tact because often your hymen can be worn down or stretched by doing sports or other intensive activities. 

So, this means that if you’re a virgin, menstrual cups are perfectly suitable for you and  it will not “break” your virginity or your hymen.