The hymen (hymen) is a fold of mucous membrane located at the entrance to the vagina in virgins. The thickness of the hymen is connective tissue with the content of elastic and sometimes muscle fibers. Outside and inside, the hymen is lined with squamous epithelium , contains blood vessels and nerves.
The shape of the hymen is most often ring-shaped with a round or oval hole. Along with this, there are other forms of the hymen (Fig.). In the case of abnormal development, an impenetrable, or blind, hymen is observed without a hole. There are sluggish hymen, fleshy (tense) and elastic (tensile).
Forms of the hymen: 1 - ring-shaped; 2 - semilunar; 3 - tubular; 4 - double-ended; 5 - petal; 6 - keeled.
At the first sexual intercourse, defloration ( rupture of the hymen) occurs, after which the hymenal papillae remain. The tears of the hymen begin to heal, forming dense scars of a whitish color. After childbirth, the hymen collapses, leaving only a few of its flaps - myrrhapes.
The pathology of the hymen includes: its congenital absence (rarely occurs), the fusion of the hymen (see Ginatresia). On the surface of the hymen may cause retention cysts.
The hymen is being examined in a forensic examination in cases involving the investigation of criminal cases involving sexual offenses . Violation of the hymen in some cases is an objective sign of sexual intercourse . It should be borne in mind that sometimes the shape of the hymen allows sexual intercourse without violating its integrity. As the edges of the damaged hymen, it is sometimes possible to judge the time of its violation. The study of the hymen is produced in cases where it is necessary to establish whether a woman has given birth , as well as to establish virginity.Go