Can I See My Hymen In a Mirror?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Dr. Betty,

I thought I knew my body quite well, but I started wondering recently, just for the sake of curiosity, about my hymen. I have read that it is half-moon shaped and that sits on back inner wall of the vaginal canal, but can I see it? I got out a mirror, and I looked at my pretty lips, my clitoris, and all the other lovely things I'm familiar with, but when I tried to look was all just collapsed pinkness.

Before I discovered your website, I had mentioned the problem to a friend, who suggested something about his penis rubbing against my hymen. I said that that was ridiculous because I've been having sex for years, but it did pique my curiosity about mine. I never bled the first time I had sex, and after reading about how some hymens are torn before intercourse for various reasons and how others are small and flexible, and stay intact even after intercourse I began to wonder about my own. So how can I find out what mine looks like and what's going on with it?

-Likes to look

Dear Likes to Look,

I've never actually seen an intact hymen. This is after observing thousands of vulvas up close and personal during years of genital exams with workshop women and now my private sessions. While I'm glad you are curious and interested in your lovely sex organ, rest assured that you no longer have a hymen after years of sexual intercourse. A hymen sits at the vaginal opening, not on the "back inner wall of the vaginal canal." That's really confusing.

The most you might find are small bits of flesh that are called "hymenal tags" that surround the vaginal opening, which is not really open so you can see inside. Instead it's "collapsed pink folds," like you said. Don't become so obsessive in your desire to understand that you forget to enjoy your sex organ. Just remember the clitoris is our primary organ of pleasure and the source of all of those happy orgasms.

Dr. Betty

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