A flexible membrane that covers part of the vaginal opening. It is thin and nearly translucent. After childbirth, a woman’s hymen will often disappear almost entirely, as the membrane does not grow back after it breaks.

Traditionally, the hymen was used as an indicator of virginity, but the hymen can tear for a number of non-sexual reasons, for instance due to vigorous exercise or disease. Likewise, the hymen may not break during sexual intercourse.