What is virginity?
Virginity means that someone has not yet had sexual intercourse. There are many other kinds of sex besides sexual intercourse.
Both boys (men) and girls (women) can be virgins.
Hymen: not a proof of virginity
You cannot see or feel that someone is a virgin. Not even a doctor can do this.
The hymen is not a proof of virginity:
- The hymen is not a membrane that closes off the vagina. The hymen therefore does not tear entirely when a woman has sexual intercourse for the first time.
- Most women do not bleed when they have sexual intercourse for the first time. If the hymen is very tight, a woman may bleed a bit. Operations to construct or restore the hymen very often do not make any difference.
- A woman cannot lose her virginity by using tampons during the menstrual period. If you want to feel more secure, you can use sanitary towels instead.
More information or help needed?
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
Community health centre (wijkgezondheidscentrum)
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood:
Medical and psychological care, information about contraception, virginity and sexuality and abortion centre
02 511 29 90
Anonymous medical care and information about contraception, virginity and sexuality
+31 26 4422593, +31 26 4436457