How Could I be Penetrated & Still Have a Hymen?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Betty,

I was raped as a child on more than one occasion. I don't know exactly how many times, because not all of the memories are clear, but they all took place within the same couple of months. I didn't tell anyone for years, so it wasn't in my medical file, and I hid it even from my family.

Anyway, when I grew up and started trying to have sex, I couldn't because it seemed like there was some kind of blockage. I went to have it checked out, and the doctor I saw told me that my hymen was just a little thicker than usual and that I should have it surgically removed. This shocked me. How could my hymen still be present after childhood rapes? During the rapes he was all the way inside me, and the pain was excruciating, it felt like there was a lot of tearing and there was blood afterwards.

I assumed that my hymen would be long gone. I was hoping that with your knowledge about the female body and the hymen, you would have an answer about this. My doctor is male and I don't feel comfortable talking about my abuse with him. How could I be penetrated as a child, but not as an adult? Did my hymen reform? Is that even possible? How could this happen? Was my hymen thickened by scar tissue or something?

Dear S,

It's my belief we put way too much emphasis on a hymen. Some of us never had one to break open. I have no memory of a hymen other than in high school when we decided to use tampons instead of pads. I remember the discomfort but no excessive pain. Or it happened so gradually I never noticed. I'm sorry to hear you still cannot discuss your childhood rape experience even with your doctor. Not that they would understand but in this one instance it was relative to your doctors diagnosis. Before having what ever is there opened surgically, I'd get a second opinion.

Although you didn't mention your age, like most people you believe sex is vaginal penetration and nothing else counts. Unless you want to get pregnant, there are many other forms of sexual pleasure beginning with masturbation. I do hope you have experimented with giving yourself orgasms from clitoral stimulation before you get consensualy raped by a young man who doesn't know what he's doing. I suggest all girls be the first ones to penetrate their own vaginas. Putting your own fingers in there while looking into a free standing mirror under a good light would be very beneficial. Notice how we turn our bodies over to so-called "experts" when we are our the best experts when it comes to our own body.

I encourage you to claim your sexual body as your own and began having orgasms with yourself before you venture into the scary world of heterosexuality where women and men have few if any sexual skills. I'm going to include links to get you started on a path of educating yourself sexually. Every orgasm you have with yourself will heal you from your childhood rape as you reclaim your body for your own pleasure.

Dr. Betty

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