If I am a virgin, what hygiene items can I use when I have my period? Will tampons or the menstrual cup break my hymen when inserted?
These are two frequent questions that many women have when they have not yet had sex. And the answer is clear and concise: you can choose the article for menstruation that you want. But what is the relationship between the hymen and the menstrual cup or tampons?
The relationship between the hymen and the menstrual cup and tampons
What is ‘being a virgin’?
Virginity is a concept that varies greatly depending on who handles it. Some people consider that they stop being a virgin when the hymen is broken or when they have intercourse for the first time, while others have a more emotional perception of virginity. It is an open debate in which different considerations fit, starting from the fact that it is a concept beyond the physical condition of women. In any case, it should be the woman who decides when she wants to stop being a virgin.
What exactly is the hymen?
The hymen is a part of a woman’s vagina that arouses a lot of interest and confusion, in equal measure. According to Dr. Francisco Estaca, a gynecologist at Hospital La Milagrosa, the hymen is ” a mucous skin membrane that partially closes the lower extremity of the vagina.” Its shape, size and thickness changes in each woman, just as each one has different lips or a different constitution. The hymen can be crescent-shaped, but it can also be circular, irregular…
Therefore, contrary to what many women believe, the hymen is not a flat tissue that covers the vagina, but rather a mucus that partially covers the opening. If it were a completely closed wall, women who had never had sexual intercourse would not be able to get menstruation or vaginal discharge.
When does the hymen break?
Regarding the situations in which the hymen can be broken, this gynecologist assures that “basically there are two: sexual intercourse and childbirth.” Although they are not the only ones in which it can happen, they are the most common cases in which hymen rupture occurs.
On the other hand, in addition to having a different shape, the hymen of each one has a different flexibility and, throughout the life of the woman, it stretches or withdraws. Hence, each woman has a different experience in the same situations. It is possible that there are women who, despite having had sexual intercourse, continue to have a hymen and others who have not and do not.
Does the hymen break when using a menstrual cup or tampon?
- Doctor Estaca explains that it is not common for the use of a menstrual cup or tampon to break the hymen: “Normally, it is not, since it is a process that must be carried out gently.”
- In this way, when some of these items for menstruation are introduced into the vagina, the hymen “is surrounding the tampon or the menstrual cup, as if it were the neck of a bottle with the tampon.” Therefore, if it is entered in the proper way, they should not harm it.
- Therefore, and as this gynecologist points out, a girl who does not have a broken hymen can use a tampon or a menstrual cup. “All she needs is confidence, knowing how to use the different sizes and using some lubricant on the plug or menstrual cup. In fact, there are girls who begin to use, above all, tampons from their first periods, which usually appear at a very early age”.
How to correctly insert a menstrual cup
- It is important to know how to correctly insert both the menstrual cup and the tampons so as not to suffer discomfort of any kind. In both cases, the main thing is that the woman is very relaxed when putting it on. If you are tense, it will be more difficult for you to insert them and, what is worse, it will be more painful.
- The ideal is to try the different objects for menstruation to stay with the one that best suits you according to your needs and preferences. In any case, if you are concerned about the state of your hymen and how it could affect the use of menstrual cups and tampons, you can raise the question with your gynecologist.