Dear BeingGirl Experts, I am 14 and want to start using tampons, but my mom is wondering if tampons might tear my hymen. What do you think? Also, what exactly is the hymen and why does it bleed? Lauren --- Dear Lauren, The hymen is a fragile membrane that partially covers and protects the opening to the vagina. It will bleed if it is stretched or torn. This may happen as a child during gymnastics or bicycle riding or ballet! Or it may happen when trying tampons or when you are being fingered. It will most likely happen during a woman's first intercourse. A person is a virgin even if the hymen has been stretched or torn if they have not had sexual intercourse. If your hymen is still intact now, you can try using a bit of water-soluble gel, like K-Y Jelly, on the top if the applicator. Don’t worry, you won’t be hurting yourself. The opening is flexible. Also, understand the more you practice, the more you will stretch the hymen. If you cannot stretch it yourself, you might want to see your doctor/healthcare provider. Hope this clears this up for you! Your BeingGirl Experts
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