Sexual Anatomy In Women (2)



The Hymen (continued from here)

When the hymen is separated, whether during first sexual intercourse or at some other time, there may be some slight bleeding and a little pain. Both the bleeding and the pain are quite normal and both will stop after a short time. For some women this can occur with no discomfort at all (the common term for this is "losing your cherry").

Sometimes a woman may be nervous about intercourse, especially the first time, and this tension can produce more discomfort than the separation of the hymen. Also, men who are clumsy or rough while having intercourse, or who try to penetrate the vagina before it is adequately lubricated for sex and ready for the penis, can cause pain too.

Usually, however, the excitement of building up to intercourse takes care of the problem, and the woman feels minimal discomfort during first intercourse even if her hymen has not previously been separated. It is important to remember that a woman can become pregnant even if her hymen is intact and no penis has entered the vagina.

If sperm comes in contact with the labia or the general vaginal area, it can move through the opening in the hymen, pass into the vagina and possibly lead to a pregnancy.

Sometimes a woman wants to use her fingers to stretch (dilate) the hymen so it will present less difficulty during sexual intercourse. This kind of advice is very valuable and can result in more pleasant, painless first intercourse.

A woman learns about her hymen in many ways but rarely from parents, physicians or informed adults in a supportive and sensitive manner. Rather, women learn about the hymen in ways that promote anxiety and uncertainty about their own bodies and their behavior. The principal message women generally get about the hymen is that it really serves no known medical purpose, but while it remains intact it indicates that they are still virgins.

If the hymen is separated before marriage they are taught to believe it will be taken as evidence of sexual activity. This is not only unfair, but sometimes damaging too. A woman whose hymen has separated through work, athletics, or for no apparent reason at all can become intensely anxious about having sex or intercourse for the first time.

She can become deeply disturbed at the thought that the man will think she is not telling the truth when she says that she has never had sex before. Should she tell him first? Will he believe her if she does? Is it better to hope he won't notice? Will he accuse her of sleeping around and so ruin what may be a very important act of giving on her part?

Another common distortion of the facts that is also damaging is that separation of the hymen (if in fact it is there) by a penis is going to cause a lot of pain and some bleeding too. A woman may want very much to have intercourse with a man yet be afraid to do so.

When she does have intercourse for the first time, she is tense and awkward, not free to respond fully. Few women suffer much pain or inconvenience when they first have sex and if that fact were generally known, far fewer women would be apprehensive and far more would be able to express themselves freely.

The old notion that the hymen existed so that a woman should suffer when she first had intercourse follows from the idea that sexual intercourse itself is wrong, evil or sinful. But it is a scientific fact that the hymen is often separated for reasons quite unconnected with sexual intercourse. No association of an intact hymen and virginity has any factual basis, nor can there be any evidence that a separated hymen means a loss of virginity.

Only when these facts are accepted will many women be freed from the seriously negative effects of popular mythology.

In many cultures throughout the world there has been, and continues to be, a great importance placed upon virginity: that is, not having sexual intercourse until marriage. A way of proving that a girl was a virgin until her marriage was to show the marriage guests or family members the blood-stained bed sheets the couple used on their first night together. If her hymen had been in place, it would have been penetrated by her new husband and she would have bled. That, at least, was the theory.

Obviously, if the woman did not have her hymen in place, either because of prior intercourse or for other reasons, this tradition could present problems. The bed sheets still had to be stained with a little blood - usually a hen's blood - to keep everyone happy.

This custom has never been widespread in North America, but retaining virginity until marriage is still quite important to many people (mostly men). Some men look for virginity in women with whom they desire to establish a relationship, while at the same time they continue to have sex with other women where a relationship is unimportant. This is commonly known as the double standard of behavior.

Bartholin's Glands

On each side of the labia minora (inner lips) are Bartholin's glands. These glands have outlets very close to the vaginal opening and produce a drop or two of fluid when a woman is sexually aroused. This small amount of fluid was thought to be important for lubricating the vagina, but the research of Masters and Johnson proved that vaginal lubrication comes from further up the vagina, so Bartholin's glands are not about sexual lubrication.

Yeast infection

We should not underestimate the connection between mind and body. I have been told by an Ayurvedic practitioner that he never sees a woman prone to cystitis who does not have a psychological profile of boundary issues. This makes me wonder what lies behind the fact that some women are prone to persistent and recurrent yeast infections.


The urethra is the short tube connected at one end to the bladder and opening at the other in the vestibule. It is the passageway for the elimination of urine from the bladder. Its opening is between the clitoris and the vaginal opening. Many women find that they must urinate immediately after having intercourse with my husband. Sometimes they even feel they am going to urinate during intercourse.

This can be dealt with by urinating before intercourse so the bladder will be empty, then the indirect pressure of the penis on the bladder will not trigger the need to urinate during intercourse. A lot of people - men as well as women - find they want to urinate right after intercourse; this is because intercourse can irritate the urethra and the bladder very slightly.

As a woman ages and passes through menopause, it is common for her to feel more irritation to the bladder and urethral area during and after intercourse. The reduction of estrogen that comes with the menopause causes the tissue to thin out in and around the vagina, resulting in less cushioning during intercourse. This may lead to an urge to urinate during or after intercourse.

The situation is a common one and is not serious. Urinating before intercourse helps, and so does lubricating the vagina.

Premature ejaculation is a common problem, and in case studies one often sees the suggestion that there may be a physical problem which is responsible for premature ejaculation. However, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any premature ejaculation is caused by over-sensitive nerves in the penis, a low sensory nerve threshold, or any other organic condition.

In my opinion, premature ejaculation is caused only by emotional factors which raise the level of arousal in a man's nervous system so much that he ready primed to ejaculate without warning when his arousal reaches a critical point. There are two factors at work here; first, he has never learned to control his arousal, to slow down the rate at which it increases, and second, he has never developed an inherent sense of how aroused he actually is - a situation which is akin to trying to run a hundred meter race without any training or experience.

Continued here

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