Posts Tagged ‘hymen’

Ask Anything: Seal


How to break seal of a girl??

This is a question that we often get in classroom workshops, and it’s great that we got this as a web question because there are a lot of myths circulating about this topic.

I’m assuming that by “seal,” you’re referring to the hymen, which is a membrane surrounding the vaginal opening. This membrane tends to wear out as one gets older, through day-to-day activities like walking, playing sports, horseback riding, or masturbation, all of which can reduce the size or consistency of the hymen. To make sure that you have a good visual, in a vast majority of cases, hymens are not like a glass window that has to be broken, but more like a donut or a large spider web.

So, by the time somebody with a vagina decides to have (vaginal) penetrative sex for the first time there are often already openings in their hymen. We often attribute the bleeding during first vaginal penetration to the “breakage” of the hymen, and that’s often what we mean when we say someone has “lost their virginity”. However, the hymen is not the seal of virginity. More often than not, the cause of bleeding during the first penetration(s) is less the hymen itself and more other factors like stress and/or not knowing yet what works for your body. This combination will probably make your body tense and your vagina less lubricated, which can make penetration harder or more painful, and could cause some bleeding. Some ways to counter this would be by letting yourself take your time and figure out what feels right for you, communicating openly with your partner(s) about the process, and having plenty of lube on hand to use…and even after your first few times, lube can be one of your best partners whenever you’re having sex. You can always get safer sex supplies, including lube, for free at Head & Hands!

Ask anything: The hymen


Welcome to the very first “Ask anything” column! As I mentioned last week, Sense now has a formspring account where you can ask us anything – any of your awkward, out-there or just plain practical questions about sex. You can ask your questions anonymously at any time in the box to the right –> or by visiting us on formspring!  We will post answers weekly on the blog. So… off we go with our first question!


Q: I have a research term paper with regards to picture of virgin vagina hymen.(colored) Where can I print this kind of pictures. Thank you so much.

A: Thanks for your question, and that’s quite the interesting research topic!  One of our blog contributors posted about the hymen and virginity awhile ago, and there are some pictures there, although they’re in black & white.


But wait – there’s more! The hymen itself is the subject of much debate. One thing that’s important to remember is that, contrary to popular belief, you can’t actually tell whether someone is a “virgin” by checking to see if their hymen is intact. First of all, the hymen is a very thin membrane that covers the opening of the vagina at birth. As a person grows, this membrane usually dissolves and what’s left is called the vaginal corona. The corona basically consists of thin folds of tissue around 1-2 cm inside the vagina. This can vary widely from person to person, and in some cases the hymen membrane does not dissolve completely, which can make things like inserting a tampon more difficult or painful. Penetrative sex can also be painful, not because it “breaks the hymen”, but because it can stretch and pull at these folds. One of the ways to make sex feel less painful and more pleasurable is to use lube, and make sure the person is aroused (through foreplay, touching, kissing, clitoral stimulation, etc.!) – and this applies every time, not just the first time!


Here are some other online resources that discuss this topic:

”First Time” info : a hymen tutorial

For those of you who wonder if it is possible to tell if someone is a virgin or not, here are a few things you should know:
There is no way to tell if someone ever had a sexual intercourse by simply looking at their penis.
There isn’t always a way also to tell if someone ever had sexual intercourse simply by looking at their vagina.
You might have heard that there is a skin inside a vagina called ”Hymen”. An hymen is a little membrane that covers a part of the entrance of the vagina.
Here is an illustration of a vulva, so that you all know what we’re talking about
illustration of a vagina

Illustration of a vagina

Illustration of a vulva

So vaginas usually come with this membrane call Hymen, which can break with the first intercourse (penetration). The hymen is usually a quite thin membrane. For that reason, it can also break before any intercourse, during sports, per example.   The hymen is also very different from one person to the other. Sometimes there are holes in the hymen, sometimes there is none. For that reason, some people can insert a tampon without any problem even if they’ve never been penetrated. While others can’t.

Different hymens

Different types of hymens

As I said, Hymen usually breaks (if it hasn’t already) during the first penetration (tampon, finger, toy or penis). It is absolutely normal. Since it is a thin membrane that is breaking and it is part of the body, it is possible that it hurts the first (or first few) time. It might even bleed. All of this is normal.

You have to talk to your partner and feel comfortable, in order to be able to tell them if you want them to stop. Also, if you are relaxed, your muscles will be too, and it will facilitate the lubrification and the penetration.

Remember: Virginity isn’t all about the hymen. You might consider you had your first sexual contact, even tho your hymen is still intact.

If you have any concerns about your virginity, your hymen or your vagina, it is always good to talk to your gynecologist.