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With the term hymen ( the or the , ancient Greek ὑμήν hymen "skin, skin", is also on the Greek wedding God Hymenaios related) - in common parlance hymen called - vaginal or vulvinale corona or outdated vaginal flap , a thin Schleimhautsaum is called, which is is located directly in the vaginal opening and surrounds it.


Sex development in the embryonic phase

In the early stages of fetal development, the vagina has no opening whatsoever. The hymen develops from the thin layer of tissue that separates the vagina from the urogenital sinus . Like the lower part of the vagina, it descends from the sinovaginal cusps and consists of cells from the sinus like the vagina. The hymen usually opens before birth. Its size and shape vary greatly from person to person.

If the hymen does not open, there is hymenal atresia .


Different hymenal forms in people of the female sex

Each corona is unique and cannot be compared to any other, just like any other part of the body, so there is no norm. Some of the most common forms are:

  • Annular : The hymen forms a ring around the vaginal opening.
  • Cribriform : The hymen extends over the entire vaginal opening, but has many small holes.
  • Parous Introitus : Refers to the opening that remains after the birth of a child and simply refers to the remains of the hymen on the sides of the vaginal opening.
  • Septal : The hymen forms one or more bands of tissue over the vaginal opening.

Only in exceptional cases is the vaginal opening completely closed by the hymen as a special form of gynatresia , which medicine calls hymenal atresia or atresia hymenalis ( Latin : Hymen imperforatus , English: imperforate hymen or hymenal atresia ). Since in these cases the menstrual blood cannot flow out after the onset of the menstrual period , a so-called hematocolpos or a hematometra gradually develops (the vagina or uterus fill with blood). This can be remedied with a small surgical procedure: the hymen is opened under local anesthesia . The hymen is rarely so stable that surgical intervention is necessary to enable pain-free intercourse. Such a surgical removal of the hymen is called a hymenectomy .

Alleged injuries during sexual intercourse

The idea that the hymen tears during a first sexual intercourse (defloration) does not correspond to reality. The mucous membrane is extremely elastic and adapts to the ability of the vagina to expand extremely (for example during childbirth) and to contract again. The majority of women do not have any bleeding during their first sexual intercourse. In this respect, an injury to the hymen is not a common consequence of a (first) sexual intercourse, but can also result, for example, from injuries to the vaginal mucous membrane. The shape of the hymn is also no proof of virginity and no proof of the experience of sexual violence.

The hymen usually does not tear as a result of sporting activities such as cycling, gymnastics, splits , falls or the use of tampons during menstruation . Masturbation does not lead to hymen violations either. Injuries to the hymen from the use of a vibrator are not known in the medical literature. There is no congenital lack of the hymen - except for complex malformations of the urinary and genital system.

Nevertheless, reports on the hymen before German courts still serve as evidence (as of 2012). According to forensic doctor Anette Solveig Debertin from the Medical University of Hanover , there are frequent misjudgments: Since 1999, she has contradicted the initial opinion in court proceedings in more than 50% of cases; She cites the reason for this: Most doctors do not know exactly how variable a hymen can look . Therefore, the importance of the vaginal hem in the investigation of sexual crimes is greatly overestimated.

For these reasons, the term vaginal corona ( slidkrans , literally vaginal wreath ) was introduced in Sweden in 2009 as a replacement for the term hymen ( mödomshinna , literally virgin membrane ). The Swedish Language Council officially added the new word to the Swedish language word list . The Linguistic Council notes that the previous word arouses false associations in a double sense, since the hymen is neither a membrane nor provides information about a woman's sexual experience. The new word, on the other hand, is a better description of the hymn as a wreath at the vaginal entrance, which lasts for a lifetime.

In some cultures and religions, in which great importance is attached to the chastity of women before marriage, visible blood from an allegedly torn hymen (after a presumed sexual act on a wedding night ) is considered evidence of premarital virginity. As a result, women under this pressure may undergo surgery in order to provide the desired proof of virginity . In this so-called hymenal reconstruction , the hymenal border is surgically built up so that it tears during sexual intercourse and begins to bleed; alternatively, a plastic membrane with artificial blood can be used. In a Dutch study, 68 women who were interested in "hymen reconstruction" were followed over a longer period of time. 48% of them said they had been a victim of sexual violence and most were afraid of not bleeding or not being “tight enough” on their first intercourse. The women were given extensive advice and information. Only 2 out of 19 women who actually had surgery reported bleeding afterwards.

Hymen in other mammals

In most mammals, the hymen is only in the form of a small ring fold at the border between the vaginal vestibule and the vagina.

See also

Wiktionary: Defloration  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Sheela L. Lahoti, Natalie McClain, et al .: Evaluating the Child for Sexual Abuse . In: American Family Physician Journal . tape 63 , no. 5 . American Academy of Family Physicians, March 1, 2001, ISSN  1532-0650 , ZDB -ID 019833962 , p. 883-893 , PMID 11261865 (English, aafp.org [PDF; 3.6 MB ; accessed on March 1, 2018]: Description of sensible medical procedure in the event of suspected sexual abuse, comparison of normal anatomical conditions and damage).
  • Renate Möhrmann (Ed.): "The flower is gone too". Defloration - Fictions of Defloration , Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-520-47101-7 .
  • Susanne Donner: Nothing to tear. Innocence. In: freitag.de. of Freitag Mediengesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, December 6, 2011, accessed on March 1, 2018 .
  • Hildrun Meyer: An analysis with a focus on sexual offenses and child sexual abuse . Clinical forensic examinations at the Institute for Forensic Medicine at the Hannover Medical School. Library of the Medical University, Hannover 2012, urn : nbn: de: gbv: 354-20120412241 (130 p., Mh-hannover.de [PDF; 2.5 MB ; accessed on March 1, 2018]).
  • Mithu Sanyal (2017): Vulva: The Revelation of the Invisible Gender. Publishing house Klaus Wagenbach
  • Nina Brochmann, Ellen Støkken Dahl, et al. (2018): Viva la vagina !: Everything about the female gender. 3rd edition, S. Fischer

Web links

Wiktionary: hymen  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • Hymen gallery. Medical drawings of different types of hymen. In: HealthyStrokes.com. Retrieved March 1, 2018 .
  • Sibylle Schreiber, Constanze Weimann et al .: The hymen . Wrong ideas and facts. Ed .: Terre des Femmes . Berlin 2011 (18 p., Frauenrechte.de [PDF; 2.1 MB ; accessed on March 1, 2018] Brochure based on the brochure “Facts and Fiction about the Hymen” (2007) by the Dutch organization Rutgers WPF).

Individual evidence

  1. Brochure | HOLLA eV Accessed on February 27, 2020 .
  2. August Rauber , Friedrich Wilhelm Kopsch : Textbook and atlas of the human anatomy . In 6 departments. 13., verm. And verb. Edition. Department 4: Guts. Thieme, Leipzig 1929, DNB  367688549 (409 pages).
  3. Brochure | HOLLA eV Accessed on February 27, 2020 .
  4. Nina Brochmann, Ellen Støkken Dahl: Viva la Vagina! 2nd Edition. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-10-397338-9 , pp. 29-37 .
  5. a b c d Susanne Donner: Nothing to tear. The hymen? Never existed. Even so, the hymen remains a tricky myth for many women. In: badische-zeitung.de. Badischer Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, December 28, 2011, accessed on March 1, 2018 .
  6. J. McCann, A. Rosas, S. Boos: Child and adolescent sexual assaults (childhood sexual abuse) . In: Jason Payne-James, Anthony Busuttil , William S Smock (Eds.): Forensic medicine . Clinical and pathological aspects. Greenwich Medical Media, San Francisco / London 2003, ISBN 1-84110-026-9 , pp. 453-468 , doi : 10.1136 / bmj.326.7388.556 (English, 832 pages).
  7. a b Mithu Sanyal: Vaginal Corona. The myth. In: emma.de. EMMA Frauenverlags GmbH, September 6, 2010, accessed on March 1, 2018 : "Also, the corona is by no means pierced by the penis the" first time "- nor is it torn during sport and other physical activities."
  8. Mithu Sanyal: Like a Virgin? In: Missy Magazine. September 1, 2017, accessed February 27, 2020 .
  9. B. Stier, N. Weissenrieder: Youth medicine: Health and society. Springer-Verlag 2006, ISBN 3-540-29718-9 , p. 261
  10. Rich Kaplan, Joyce A. Adams, Suzanne P. Starling, Angelo P. Giardino (Eds.): Medical response to child sexual abuse . A resource for professionals working with children and families. STM Learning, St. Louis 2011, ISBN 978-1-878060-12-9 (English, 410 pages).
  11. Swedish Language Council: Slidkrans. In: sprakochfolkminnen.se. Institutet för språk och folkminnen, April 15, 2014, accessed on March 1, 2018 (se).
  12. Bianca R. van Moorst, Rik HW van Lunsen, Dorenda KE van Dijken, Concetta M. Salvatore: Backgrounds of women applying for hymen reconstruction, the effects of counseling on myths and misunderstandings about virginity, and the results of hymen reconstruction . In: The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care . tape 17 , no. 2 , April 1, 2012, ISSN  1362-5187 , p. 93-105 , doi : 10.3109 / 13625187.2011.649866 , PMID 22292534 .