View research View latest news Sign up for updates. Metrics details. Clinicians, however, continue to refer to changes in the hymen to assess for a history of consensual or nonconsensual sexual intercourse. We reviewed published evidence to dispel commonly held myths about the hymen and its morphology, function, and use as evidence in cases of sexual violence. An examination of the hymen is not an accurate or reliable test of a previous history of sexual activity, including sexual assault. We call on clinicians to consider the low predictive value of a hymen examination and to: 1 avoid relying solely on the status of the hymen in sexual assault examinations and reporting; 2 help raise awareness of this issue among their peers and counterparts in law enforcement and the judicial system; and 3 promote fact-based discussions about the limitations of hymenal examinations as part of clinical education for all specialties that address the sexual or reproductive health of women and girls. Peer Review reports. In some settings, clinicians who evaluate women and girls suspected of being victims of sexual assault, or suspected of having engaged in intercourse with or without consent , rely on an examination of the hymen for their assessments.
Myth 1: The hymen starts off entirely closed, then ‘breaks’.
The answers to all your questions about virginity and its mythical guardian, the hymen.
Rapper T. FYI, the hymen is a thin membrane located at the opening of the vagina. Several weeks later, during an interview with Jada Pinkett Smith , T. Most hymens have a hole big enough for period blood to come out of and for a woman to use tampons comfortably. But just as people have different body shapes and sizes, hymens come in different shapes and sizes too, and some people naturally have hymens that are more open than others. You can find an illustration of different hymen shapes here — but it most commonly looks like a half moon. However, the hymen cannot regenerate. As a child gets older, it becomes less important, says Dr Gunter. There are lots of activities besides sex which can stretch a hymen — these include riding bikes, doing sports or putting something in the vagina, like a finger, moon cup or tampon.
Plain English Summary
Two health professionals have disproved a long-standing belief about virgins, and they want everyone to take note. The hymen is a rim of tissue at the outer opening of the vagina. And usually, it has a doughnut, or a half moon shape, with a large central hole. But this varies a lot and sometimes hymens have fringes, several holes or it can consist of lobes. In other words, hymens naturally vary a lot in looks.
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