How To Tell If A Hymen Is Torn or broken


The hymen is a mucous membrane circling the vaginal opening. Physiologically speaking, its function is overlooked most of the time. And truthfully speaking, a female will only be concerned about her hymen when it is torn, lacerated, or too thick that it nearly covers the entire vaginal opening.

Hymen can be ruptured if a female experiences her first sexual intercourse; regular use of tampons; use of vaginal speculum for medical examinations; regular strenuous physical exercise; injury or trauma; and even physical abuse [1].

Hymen Picture

Yes, we know the probable causes of tearing a hymen, but one thing we are not sure of is how to identify whether a hymen is torn or not.

Well, you came to the right site. By the end of this article, you will be able to know how to determine an intact or lacerated hymen.

Sociocultural Views on Torn Hymen

In a sociocultural view, a torn hymen is often linked to a woman’s virginity.

Nowadays, sex is viewed as a normal activity and is sometimes considered to be a part of physiologic needs. This is the case for most Western countries. A torn hymen is no big deal for them. A big deal for them is if you reach your 20’s and you are still a virgin. For them, that is the unusual and funny story.

Contrary to the Western countries, Eastern countries most especially the Arab and Islamic countries frown upon unmarried women who have torn hymen.

For them, you are a total disgrace to your family if your virginity is lost before you get married. Having sex outside marriage will make the woman look and feel disgusting. Everybody will look down on you and your family. [2]

There are cases when women are penalized of having a sex outside her marriage by only words of mouth, without  any proof or evidence. Sadly, there are also cases where the death is the ultimate price for this. For them, it is the only way to restore the honor of the family. [2]

Proof of Virginity

Many believe that an intact hymen is an indicator of a female’s virginity. Well, this is a myth.

A hymen can be torn or lacerated not only due to first sexual intercourse. It may be torn even before a female she encounters her first sex. Sports, tampons, vaginal speculums, and injury are only some of the factors that could do it [1].

The thing is, not every female is born with a hymen. One out of one thousand females do not have hymen at birth [3]. So would you say that those babies are not virgin just because they don’t have hymen? No, you won’t.

Hymen does not always tear and bleed after sexual intercourse.

Research says only 43% of women who had their first sex encountered bleeding [4]. So what happened to the other 57%? Are they still virgins because their hymen did not tear and bleed? Of course not.

Moreover, 19% of sexually active women do not have obvious tear or abnormality in their hymen [5].

The hymen is not a reliable indicator of a female’s virginity. Hymen may be present or not in a female’s external genitalia. A female may bleed or not due to sexual intercourse. Her hymen may tear or not due to sexual intercourse. Not all females with intact hymen are virgin.


Hymen: Is It Intact or Not?

You can easily determine if your hymen is torn or not by a very simple method, for which you need not go to a gynecologist. Follow the simple steps mentioned below:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Use gloves, as needed. Lubricate your finger.
  • Take a mirror, sit on a chair and spread your legs. Place the mirror in front of your vagina for proper view. You will have to change your position or the angle of the mirror for a proper view. Once you are set, and is able to see the vaginal opening, use your index and middle finger to spread the labia. This will open up the cervical opening for having a complete inside view.
  • Inside the opening, you will get to see your hymen. Try to identify it without poking your finger into the opening. After spreading the labia, the hymen should be clearly visible. Usually, hymen is moon-shaped, thin tissue on the lower part of the cervical opening towards the anus. The size and shape of the hymen may differ from person to person.
  • If you are still not able to see the hymen then gently insert you middle finger into the opening to feel it. If the insertion of finger up to the second knuckle of your finger does not cause any pain, and you are able to move it inside easily that means the hymen is broken.
  • Wash your hands after checking.
  • Two finger test or virginity test is performed by doctors to detect a ruptured hymen.

What To Do if you have a Torn Hymen

  • Do not bother. Leave it as it is. Tearing of a hymen is very common and normal to lives of almost all women.
  • Apply ice on the vaginal area to stop the bleeding and to help ease the pain [1].
  • Do not use tampons for a while.
  • Before engaging into sexual intercourse, allow your hymen to heal [1].
  • Women can also try an artificial hymen, which adheres to the inside of the vagina giving it a temporary appearance of an intact hymen [6].
  • If you want your hymen to be repaired or reconstructed, consult a surgeon for hymenorrhaphy or hymenoplasty. But this may not last long because your normal life and daily activities may cause it to be torn anyway [7].

When to Seek Medical Attention

Hymen rupture does not cause profuse bleeding. If you experience an excessive bleeding for a prolonged period of time, consult your doctor. This may be an indication of a vaginal tear or cervical cancer.

Postcoital bleeding or bleeding after a sexual intercourse can occur in conditions like cervical dysplasia, gonorrhea, cervical polyps, vaginal yeast infection, uterine polyps, chlamydia, vaginitis, trichomoniasis, endrometritis and fibroid tumors.

Consult your gynecologist for better inspection and appropriate treatment.


See this for further detailed  information —> Hymen – Location, Pictures, Surgery, Repair and Broken Hymen




Published on by under Women's Health and Pregnancy.
Article was last reviewed on August 4th, 2016.

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Comments (6)

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  1. worried girl says:

    Hi! I did the steps to see if your hymen is torn but I am a bit confused. When I spread the labia I could clearly see my hymen. It sort off shoots out of the vagina with a little whole in it, it kind of looks like a butthole (it looks a lot like a fimbriated hymen). When i “push” like I am going on the toilet to poop I can see the little hole in my hymen getting bigger…and it looks more zig-zag. I can insert a finger in the whole without feeling any pain…and I can go in really deep. Is my hymen intact? I can cleary see it when I’m relaxed, thats when the hole looks small…but when I “push” it does get bigger and looks zig-zag…but thats normal right? but I can also put a finger inside it. Did I tear it? Can I have an itact hymen if I can see it when spreading my labia (it looks like a fimbriated hymen when relaxed…and zig-zag when I “push”), and put a finger inside it?

    • Dr. Steve says:

      It sounds like your hymen is intact. But honestly, it does not matter because hymen’s are broken or torn early in life for many natural reasons.

  2. grace says:

    I am a virgin and I had a cervical cancer test done please is my hymen still intact

  3. I kinda tried doing stuff with my boyfriend but I don’t let him go in really cus it hurt. So I tried doing the finger test to test if my hymen is still intact but I was too scared to go so in but it hurt a bit when my finger wenter in…and u still feel it after removing my first get. Is my hymen still intact?

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