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. The online version of this article 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.
Types of Hymens
Girls' bodies Q&A - NHS
Activities like gymnastics and horse-riding may speed up this process, but the membrane should just wear away into a doughnut-like shape on its own, regardless of whether you can pull of the perfect back handspring. That type of hymen requires surgical correction, however, rather than modification-by-penetration. Virginity verification exams are a well-recorded — and troubling — phenomenon throughout history. It can sustain tears during penetrative sex, but nothing a quick once-over by a health care provider could draw any legitimate conclusion from. Discomfort and bleeding during first-time sex often has nothing to do with the hymen at all. The hymen has very thin tissue, with barely any blood supply, and tearing it is unlikely to trigger a bleed.
The Hymen’s Tale: Myths and facts about the hymen
Hymens can come in different shapes. The most common hymen in young women is shaped like a half moon. This shape allows menstrual blood to flow out of the vagina. Imperforate hymen : An imperforate hymen can sometimes be diagnosed at birth.
Author: Jonathan Schaffir, MD. One commonly misunderstood part of female anatomy is the hymen. Many people might be surprised to learn that the hymen has no proven medical or physiological purpose. That situation is rare, and it can interfere sex or tampon usage, but it can be removed surgically.