Am I still a virgin if I use a tampon?
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 girls 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 a girl's hymen 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: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: November 2009
* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.