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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Hymen problems

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Author Topic: Hymen problems
starcookies
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I have a bridge-like hymen that stretches across from one side of my vaginal opening to the other. It's never really been that much of a bother, thought sometimes it can be a little difficult inserting or removing tampons, but I'm worried that it will cause sex to be painful if it stretches further and/or breaks. I was wondering, since they do break (if that's the right word) on their own during sex or giving birth, would it be okay and safe to do so myself, or should I go to a gynocologist?
Posts: 2 | From: Australia | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitka
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This article should answer all of your questions and more.

http://www.scarleteen.com/politics/virgin.html

The hymen erodes naturally through physical activity, tampon use, etc. Penetration during sex will erode more of the hymen more quickly; that's why some women bleed a bit during first time sex. You don't need to break your own hymen; though if you want to use a vibrator, you may end up eroding your hymen further.

If you haven't had intercourse yet, it might be a bit difficult for your gyn to swab your cervix... in that case, she may wait to do a full Pap smear until you become sexually active.
(You need to go the gyn even if you haven't had sex, since she'll do a breast exam and see if everything else is in working order.)

Either way, it's no big deal.

The hymen a membrane with several naturally-occuring holes, and not a solid piece of tissue as many people think. In that sense, it doesn't "break." Even after you've had sex, small pieces of the hymenal membrane will still be attached to your vaginal walls.

Tampon insertion can be a little uncomfortable for many women, including those who have had sex. That's because you're usually not aroused when you're putting in a tampon... arousal during sex produces lubrication, which makes penetration more comfortable. If it keeps on being a bother, you can put a bit of KY liquid/jelly on the applicator to make it more comfortable.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
starcookies
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Thank you for the article, it was very insightful.

I have no problem with the vaginal walls, and it's not that it's 'uncomfortable' to insert a tampon, but I'm just worried about the bridge. According to this website it's a septate hymen (second last from the bottom), and it can get in the way at times by causing the tampon to get stuck.

http://www.healthystrokes.com/hymengallery.html

Would it be possible to break (I know, bad word, but it's the only one I can think of) the bridge myself, or would that happen during intercourse?

Posts: 2 | From: Australia | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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A septate hymen, like any other, will still generally gradually wear away, rather than "snap" all at once, or with intercourse.

(Bear in mind that during intercourse, you'll just move it to one side -- it's stretchy -- for your male partner to enter, so it's not like that would break it, in most scenarios.)

I just explained to someone else this morning that self-surgery? Never a good idea. It is not NEEDED to remove it, but if you would LIKE to have it removed, talk to your OB/GYN, who can handle it safely and cleanly in a very simplce outpateint procedure.

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Posts: 68164 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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