Depending on the cultural norm you are from, there are lots of emphasis on what lose virginity actually is. It can be saving one self for the husband in the future, not having the hymen torn or can be even expecting blood stains on the bed sheets after the first night. Virginity is just a concept or an idea that has been raised in a particular society or norm which is targeted for girls.
In view of this, losing virginity is often correlated with breaking the hymen. Even some people today think that a woman is virgin if she has an intact hymen. Ultimately, some evidence proves that a hymen is only completely torn after childbirth. Does that mean a woman is a virgin until her first childbirth even having her sexual intercourse previously? In fact, the breaking of the hymen has nothing to do with sexual intercourse most of the time.
Facts about the hymen
The hymen is a thin piece of tissue that partially covers the vagina. Anatomically, it is considered as a part of the female genitalia. When a girl reaches puberty, the surge in the hormone estrogen causes the hymen to be thinner, fragile and more elastic. There are few variations of hymen in girls which is quite common and frequently related with losing virginity.
- Annular hymen. It is called annular hymen because it forms a ring on the surface of the hymen which can become larger from masturbation and sexual activity.
- Cribriform hymen. The cribriform hymen has multiple small openings on the surface which allows menstrual fluid to pass out. This sometimes makes sexual intercourse or tampon insertion more difficult than normal.
- Septate hymen. There is a presence of a thick fibrous band that partially forms a septate like appearance which makes tampon insertion and sexual penetration difficult.
- Imperforate hymen. This appearance of hymen is a complete closure which prevents the menstrual blood from flowing out during menstruation. This condition usually requires corrective surgery to prevent further complications due to the accumulation of blood inside, leading to infections and endometriosis.
- Parous introitus hymen. This appearance of hymen is common after childbirth where the hymen is partially or completely gone. However, this appearance of hymen can also be present in girls before sexual intercourse.
Can you lose your virginity without knowing?
The hymen can be torn apart not only from sexual intercourse, but also due to other factors such as;
- Trauma to the hymen
Any repetitive trauma to the hymen such as a blunt or sharp injury can tear the hymen as the hymen becomes fragile and elastic as the girl reaches puberty.
- Masturbation & Fingering
Masturbation is considered a trauma inducing injury to the hymen that can also tear the hymen apart. Similarly, fingering also introduces trauma to the hymen.
- Tampon insertion
A tampon is a menstrual product used to absorb blood and secretions from the vagina during the menstruation period. Unlike a pad which is placed externally, a tampon is inserted internally into the vagina and it is possible to cause the hymen to break.
- Vigorous exercise
Girls who involve themselves actively in vigorous activities like cycling and horse riding can induce a high pressure on their hymen causing a break on it.
Virginity is rather a social concept than a medical idea or a definition. So, can a girl lose her “virginity” without knowing? The answer will be a yes, as there are many factors that can cause a break on the hymen. Awareness on the concept of virginity should be instilled in all kinds of people despite the age and cultural belief they are following.