Baby Girls are Born with Hymens. Estrogen Released at Puberty Opens Vagina

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 08:27
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Anita Hoffer brings us the latest information on the hymen.  We're born with hymens but they break open at puberty when estrogen kicks in.  Fascinating:
So here’s what I learned so far. The Scarleteen article that you referred to in your recent article saying that the hymen is a myth, is based on a pamphlet recently published by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU).

The Swedes wrote as follows:

“In an attempt to correct some of the myths surrounding the hymen, RFSU last spring published an informational pamphlet on the female reproductive organs which featured a new term for the hymen, namely “vaginal corona“, or something shaped like a circle.

RFSU hoped the new term would displace the traditional Swedish word used for the hymen, mödomshinna, which translates literally as “virginity membrane” and led to misconceptions about female sexuality, according to RFSU. They reasoned as follows:

They felt that the old Swedish term indicated that there is a membrane covering the vaginal opening that needed to be broken. It was portrayed as the boundary between guilt and innocence……some girls have been raised to protect their hymen, not to run, jump, ride horses or even use tampons or masturbate. But in reality there is no membrane; rather there are folds of mucous membrane which form a crown around the vaginal opening.”

Susan Chasson, who is President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, cited a study at ISSWSH stating that all women are born with hymens. In one study, over 2,000 newborn girls were examined at birth and they all had hymens.

Paul Joannnides describes hymens in his “Guide To Getting It On” (chapter 8) and emphasizes that hymens do exist and change shape as puberty approaches due to the effects of estrogen. He writes “By the end of puberty, the hymen no longer drapes across the opening of the vagina, but becomes more like an O-ring or collar allowing a penis or tampon to have full entry. The hymen tissue has estrogen receptors in it just like the walls of the vagina. With estrogen, the walls of the hymen become thicker, shorter and more elastic….. Nature seems to have made the hymen ready for intercourse by changing it during puberty.”

A colleague who regularly examines little girls says “There is, in fact, something called a hymen. It is rarely a complete membrane that covers the entire vagina (although some girls are born with an anatomic anomaly such as an "imperforate" or "microperforate" hymen, in which case the vagina is, in fact completely or almost completely covered, and nothing can go in or out without a surgical procedure). In a "normal" vaginal anatomy, the hymen is a thin tissue ring around the vaginal orifice, and it is tighter or looser in various girls.

Betty, I think the important issue here is one of balance – namely there is an acknowledgement by the Swedes that the concept of a hymen as a gateway between guilt and innocence, or good ‘pure’ girls vs bad ‘sexually active’ girls is destructive and sex-negative and not healthy. And I totally agree. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into that the structure does not exist.

Just my 2 cents…

Looking forward to our next date soon!



Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Thanks Betty

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 16:58

That a hymen would break down during puberty to let a penis in seems pretty clear and intuatively correct.

Correction, please?

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 09:47
Heather Corinna (not verified)

I'd appreciate it if you could make a correction/edit, please! :)

The article we have at Scarleteen does not say the hymen is a myth. The report on that article at this site made that statement, but our article does not. Rather our article talks about the myths about the corona/hymen, including addressing one of those myths, which is that a woman’s vaginal opening is covered by a membrane that ruptures with vaginal sex.

But we are not claiming that there is not a membrane called the hymen or corona, but rather, that so much of what people think about it is factually incorrect.

I'd very much appreciate corrections here which may seem to attribute statements to us we haven't ever made.  Thanks!

We apologize Heather

Betty Dodson's picture
Fri, 03/18/2011 - 13:37

One of the problems as well as the delights with the speed of the internet is that we all moving so fast. We did get carried away and the "Myth" in the headline will be removed or explained. Still its very exciting to be getting all this information about female sexuality.

To bleed or not to bleed ...

Tue, 05/10/2011 - 15:10
Kari (not verified)

Hi, magnificent ladies!

This is first and foremost a comment to your video "The Hymen is a Myth".
I give you my heartfelt thanks for your fun, liberating videos! But I find myself scratching my head a little bit with this one. Are you getting carried away with the term myth? Well, yes, from your comment above I guess you do. But I'm still puzzled by a few of the things you said.

I see the need to make people understand that there is no complete membrane covering the vagina, and that bleeding doesn't have to occur the first time. Some bleed, some don't. There is an obsession with the hymen that obviously becomes dangerous when poor girls have to get their butter stitched together to prove their purity. But I feel there is a danger of swinging the pendulum all the way over to the other side, and completely disregarding the hymen. This can potentially be quite traumatic.
Let me explain:
From personal experience I must disagree that bleeding is only due to "him not knowing what he was doing". I remember my first time very clearly. It's a fond and delightfully gory memory. Of course we were nervous. Me more than him, though, because it was my first time, not his. We were very much in love and hot for one another. Good for us. And, really, he was as gentle as any horny guy of 19 can humanly be. Tons and tons of foreplay. Yes, he had discovered the clitoris. No complaints there. Let's just say I've had both clumsier and rougher sex later in life, though not to the same end. Let's not beat around the bush: it was kindof hard to get it in! Something had to "pop" for things to run along smoothly. And, ohmygosh, did I bleed afterwards? Down to the floor, actually. And a little bit for the whole following week.

I'm not from a family or culture where the hymen is of any importance. But if I had been told that it didn't exist, that it was a myth, and had not expected that my first intercourse could possibly, but not necessarily, be a bloody mess (literally) I would have been scared out of my panties afterwards! I would have been sure that I was broken, and probably not very eager to try sex again for a very, very long time!

My point is, let's keep the nuances in our perspectives and views of what is "normal". The first time is very important for a lot of young people, and letting them know that there is a whole range of possible experiences can be quite reassuring.

At least, that's my view. Any thoughts?

Thanks for sharing your experience

Betty Dodson's picture
Tue, 05/10/2011 - 15:47

You know Kari, when we talk on our YouTubes, it's never scripted. We were responding to a post sent to us by Scarleteen, a great website for girls. Neither Carlin nor I ever had any difficulty with first time penetration because we had both explored our vaginas with fingers and toys long before penetration took place. She had her Barbie Dolls legs and I had my jump rope handle.

The important point for all of us to recognize is that not ALL women will bleed after first time penetration, not if the vagina is gradually opened. We wanted to speak for those women who never had a "cherry to pop!" So while I hear what you say, and we do promise not to get carried away about "myths' you gotta admit there are a shitload of them to wade through.

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