Did cycling break your Hymen?
“I think my hymen got torn because I bled after riding my bike.”
“Can cycling break your hymen?”
“I had sex for the first time but didn’t bleed.”
These are the question commonly found in online communities. Every question has a story of its own, but you can see the anxiety and suspicion between the lines. Some want to get surgery to recover what they lost. Can riding a bike really break our hymen? Is it true that somewhere in your body there is something that determines whether or not you are a virgin and breaks if you're not careful?
The answer is simple and straightforward. No.
First, it’s because the idea of the hymen as the “virginal membrane” is not true. You cannot break something that doesn’t exist.
RIP virginal membrane
The “virginal membrane” is an illusion that does not physically exist in this world. This is a term created from an old belief that the membrane covering women's genitals can determine whether she has had intercourse, by checking if it’s damaged or not.
As our awareness of these issues have increased many cultures have chosen to change the term they use to refer to the hymen.
However, simply changing the word isn’t enough. The definition also needs to be changed, and the reason for changing the terminology needs to be explained to the public.
It is now time to bury this terminology and change the social perception of it. Then what is the “hymen” that actually exists in our world? The actual “hymen” is vastly different than the commonly accepted idea of a “virginal membrane.”
The truth about the hymen
✔️ Not blocked
Many people often think of a plastic wrap with a sticker saying “cannot return after opening” but in reality, the hymen does not completely seal the vagina. Most are in the form of a donut with a hole in the middle, or similar to a scrunchie.
✔️ Can be damaged but is difficult to break
The hymen does not vanish. Experts say that mild tears of the mucosal tissue of the hymen can normally recover within 24 hours. This is why many women have a hymen even after their first intercourse experience. Determining whether or not someone has had a sexual experience through this is difficult.
✔️ Everyone’s looks different
Hymens come in different shapes, just asSome people have one large hole and some have multiple small openings. Some people have a rare, congenital condition where no opening is present in the hymen and require a surgical procedure for healthy menstruation.
✔️ (To reiterate) Not related to sexual experience
The shape, size, and flexibility of the hymen vary and change significantly across a woman's lifespan. As puberty approaches, the hymen thickens, and the shape greatly changes when nearing menopause. A study comparing the shapes of the hymen in adolescent girls with and without a history of consensual sexual intercourse found that 52% of those who admitted to having had prior intercourse had no identifiable changes to their hymenal tissue. Bleeding also is not an indicator of first sexual intercourse. The hymen is a tissue with relatively few blood vessels and there may not be significant bleeding even if it's torn.