How do I know if I have an imperforate hymen? I am really worried about it. I recently tried to have sex, but it was really painful, so we stopped. Help!

The hymen is a skin piece of skin that covers the opening of the vagina. Hymens can come in a lot of different shapes and thicknesses. Many are shaped like a half moon, which allows blood to flow out of the vagina during your period. An imperforate hymen is one that covers the opening to the vagina, completely. This means that blood can’t flow out of the vagina during a period, causing it to back up. When the backup happens, blood can pool, causing painful abdominal and or back pain. Teens can have a micro imperforate or a septate hymen, and if they do, they may have trouble putting a tampon in and getting it out.

The best way to diagnose an imperforate hymen is through a visit with your health care provider (HCP). They will do an exam to see whether or not a hymen is covering the opening of the vagina. If the hymen is imperforate, surgery may be recommended, but it’s best to talk with your provider.

If you don’t have an imperforate hymen, another potential cause for pain is called vaginismus, which is pain around the vaginal opening. There are several treatment options available for vaginismus and other reasons that you could have pain with sex. Your health care provider (HCP) can help determine what is going on and what treatment is right for you!