Am I still a virgin if I use a tampon?
Some girls worry that if they use tampons, they will no longer be virgins. The truth is, a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. Inserting a tampon is definitely not the same as having sex!
So why do people ask this question so often? Girls who are virgins usually have a hymen, a very thin piece of skin-like tissue that stretches partly across the opening of the vagina. A lot of people mistakenly think that a girl is only a virgin if her hymen has not been broken.
Most of the time a girl's hymen breaks after having sex for the first time, but it can tear in ways that have nothing to do with having sex. For example, it is possible that inserting a tampon might tear the hymen (although that usually doesn't happen). So even if a tampon does break a girl's hymen, she is still a virgin until she has had sexual intercourse.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, MSN, WHNP-BC
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Planned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.|
|GirlsHealth.gov GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.|
|Go Ask Alice! Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University's health question and answer service. It offers open and frank discussions of sensitive topics.|
|Virginity: A Very Personal Decision Deciding whether it's right for you to have sex is one of the most important decisions you'll ever have to make. Each person must use his or her own judgment and decide if it's the right time - and the right person.|
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|Female Reproductive System Why do girls get periods? What goes on when a woman gets pregnant? What can go wrong with the female reproductive system? Find the answers to these questions and more in this article for teens.|
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