Thick hymen?

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    When I was 16, my mom took me to her gyn because I was suffering from pretty heavy periods. The gyn did an internal exam with a special, smaller plastic speculum cause I was still a virgin. I remember the gyn told me she couldn’t complete the exam cause I had a pretty thick hymen and she didn’t want to hurt me. She also added I had to come back to her when I had issues during sex (I wasn’t dating at that time).

    I’m 21 now, and I recently had sex for the first time. My partner said he felt some resistance inside when he tried to enter me, but he didn’t push any further – he knows I’m a virgin so he wants to be careful and takes things slow (he’s adorable!). I know this might sound like a dumb question, but might this be my hymen and do I have to ask him to push harder, to make it tear? Judging from what the gyn said, might it take a bit more effort to break it? On the other hand, I know painful sex is often linked to vaginismus and that in some cases, a link with a tight or thick hymen is present. But I don’t want to “give up” too soon either… shall we give it another try? I wish there was more info available on this subject…


    Hi loreen – thanks for your question! We get a lot of thick hymen questions here, although you’re right in that it’s not a well-discussed topic at all, especially in sex education.

    I suspect you’d need to see a gynecologist to know for sure whether the hymen is the issue, but in the meantime, can you tell us more about what happens in regard to your vagina at times besides when you’re attempting intercourse? Are you able to insert a finger or tampon? How much of his penis was your partner able to insert? The hymen is quite close to the entrance to the vagina (less than an inch) so if he inserted more of his penis than that it might not have been an issue with your hymen.


    Loreen, I’ve shared the bed with a few women who had no sexual experience at all. In some the hymen is already torn due to tampon usage or insertion of objects before they have sex. Others have a thick or rigid hymen that is still intact. There have been occasions on which I literally felt something blocking my penis from entering the vagina, so when the hymen is still intact it really feels like a barrier you need to get/push through. That’s also the reason why it’s easy to confuse vaginismus and a thick hymen. When someone has vaginismus, there is a barrier too, but this feels different. There is often no way to “get in”, no matter how hard you try. When you have a thick hymen, once you are past the barrier, the penis slides in without any issue. Sorry if this all sounds a bit technical, I don’t know how to explain it otherwise. My suggestion is to give it another go. When it’s still impossible for your partner to penetrate you, consult your doc.

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