| Caroline Knight
How Do I Know if My Hymen is Torn or Broken?
What's going on?
Although the idea of a torn hymen is associated with loss of virginity (after sexual intercourse), this is far from the only way to stretch or tear your hymen. In fact, it is very common for females to tear their hymens inadvertently, through physical exercise such as cycling, horse riding, gymnastics or other vigorous forms of exercise. Likewise, masturbation, vaginal speculums, injury or tampon use can tear or stretch your hymen.
So how do you know if your hymen is torn?
Firstly it’s important to remember that not all females are born with a hymen. Although the chances are relatively low (one in one thousand), that’s possible. Women who do have this stretchy membrane that partially covers the entrance to the vagina may have already torn it well before their first sexual encounter. Even if your hymen stays intact until sex, it still might not tear or bleed because of sex.
If you’re wondering how to tell if your hymen is torn, read on…
Signs your hymen is torn
If you have torn your hymen, you might experience any of the following:
- Light spotting or bleeding
- Slight discomfort or pain around the vaginal opening
- Torn or broken skin (membrane) around 1-2cm inside the vaginal opening
Some females don’t notice any of these things despite having torn the hymen. It is quite normal for the hymen to naturally wear down over time. You can compare it to tissue paper in a sense; it’s easy to perforate with even light pressure, so it can either tear in one go or gradually stretch and widen until it has shrunk back to the vaginal walls. At this point it feels like a ring of tissue, but it won’t feel smooth like the rest of the vaginal walls – it will have an irregular surface. If you have only stretched your hymen, it may just fade away or tear eventually.
How to check whether you have torn your hymen
It’s actually quite easy to find out whether your hymen has torn or not. You can figure this out yourself without visiting a Doctor or gynecologist. All you need is a mirror, a chair and your fingers. Here’s what you need to do:
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Grab a small mirror that you can manage with one hand
- Sit on the edge of a chair and open your legs
- Apply some natural personal lubricant to your finger if necessary (particularly if you feel discomfort inserting fingers)
- Hold the mirror in front of your vagina and angle it upwards to that you can see the opening
- Use your index or middle finger to spread open the labia (vaginal lips)
- You should be able to see a thin, moon-shaped fleshy membrane across the lower section of your vaginal opening if the hymen is intact
Remember that the size and shape of a hymen can vary quite a lot. A good rule of thumb is that if you can easily insert a finger or feel any irregular flesh around the vaginal walls (without experiencing any resistance or discomfort), it’s likely that your hymen is torn.
If you find that you have torn your hymen, that’s perfectly normal and OK.
If this has only just happened and you’re experiencing any discomfort or light bleeding, you can ease it with a cool pack or ice on the area and refrain from tampon use or sex until it feels better. Once your hymen is healed you’ll be able to carry on with those things as normal! We hope you found this article informative; if so, you might want to check out our other blog posts on women’s sexual health and gynecological concerns.
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Tara Langdale Schmidt is the inventor of the VuVa Dilator Company. She has pelvic floor dysfunction herself and wanted to create a dilator set that is made in America that women can trust. VuVatech has been in business since 2014 and has helped over 40,000 women all over the globe. She patented the Neodymium Vaginal Dilator, that is clinically proven to help with blood flow and nerve pain.