Yes! You read right! Today I will walk you through this hush hush ‘taboo’ topic! The female genitals are by far one of the most misunderstood body parts I have ever come across. I am continuously astounded by the vast majority of people who don’t understand their bodies.

Q. Why would I want to discuss such a topic?

A. Because it’s high time EVERYONE knew what the vagina and hymen are all about. This is what Vunjakimya strives to do, educate.

Too often have I heard all manner of random nonsensical descriptions of this very important part of the female anatomy. The worst part about it is the incredible weight the description of the hymenal tissue is given especially in sexual violence court proceedings, and in some cultural practices.

So here goes…brace yourselves! Thank me later!

Let’s learn some anatomy.

vagina-diagram

Image Source

LABIA MAJORA

  • Otherwise known as the outer lips
  • Covered by skin like that found on the rest of the body
  • Covered by hair during and after puberty

LABIA MINORA

  • Also referred to as the inner lips
  • Covered by a mucus membrane that is kept moist

URETHRA

  • Exit point for urine

VAGINAL OPENING

  • Also known as the introitus (entry point)
  • Entry point for a penis during intercourse
  • Exit point for a baby during labor.

Thus, this might come as a surprise to some of you, but at the risk of stating the ‘obvious’, females have 3 holes!

Now, let’s give special mention to the hymen. During my trainings, I like to refer to it as

THE MYSTERIOUS HYMEN’

The hymen is a thin membrane, or thin sheet of moist skin found at the entry point of the vagina, or the introitus. Normally, the hymen has an opening that allows menses during the monthly period to pass through it. THE HYMEN DOES NOT OCCLUDE THE VAGINAL OPENING! A complete hymen is not normal and requires surgery to correct to allow menses to flow freely.

The hymen goes through certain changes during a female’s life. Before puberty, the hymen is thin and smooth and delicate, easily torn. During puberty, increased hormonal activity causes the hymen to thicken and become more elastic, and there is increased secretion from cells within the vagina. These changes are preparing the body to be able to engage in intercourse. Remember one of the innate purposes of the human body is procreation.

In the event that intercourse happens during puberty and adulthood, there may not be any injuries. However, in children who have not undergone puberty, sexual activity causes injuries, some very severe.

After repeated sexual activity, the hymenal tissues begin to thin out, and eventually hymenal remnants or tags remain.

Thus, the hymen DOES NOT BREAK! It tears. It is not a thin invisible glass that shatters when touched.

 

Below are a few hymen variants

Types of hymen

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IN THE CASE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

What I am about to share cannot be overemphasized.

Genital injuries may or may not occur in consensual and non-consensual sexual intercourse.

In other words, one can agree to have intercourse, for example a lady and her husband, and still sustain injuries. Likewise, one can be forced into having intercourse, and not sustain any injuries. This is mainly in reference to adults.

In my experience, children almost always sustain injuries of varying nature, whether or not penetration occurred. Fortunately, in cases of child sexual abuse, consent is NOT an issue. Children CANNOT give consent to such activities. It is the responsibility of the perpetrator to know better.

Myth Busters

  1. An intact hymen means that one is a virgin.

A virgin is one who has not engaged in sexual intercourse.

  1. Hymens cover the entrance of the vagina

Hymens don’t seal the introitus normally. If they do, that needs surgical intervention.

  1. A torn hymen implies sexual intercourse

Hymens can tear as a result of several activities other than intercourse, including insertion of objects or instruments into the vagina.

  1. Hymens disappear after intercourse

Hymens tear and gradually thin out with increased sexual activity.

  1. First time intercourse and breaking of the hymen must cause bleeding

Bleeding is not a mandatory event following intercourse, neither does it indicate ‘breaking virginity’. Bleeding can be caused by several factors such as infections or prior trauma (injury) among others

I hope this article has shed some light. Feel free to forward any questions you may have. What would you like to know more about?