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Am I Still a Virgin If I Use a Tampon?

Am I still a virgin if I use a tampon?
- Shauna*

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, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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