Aunt Vadge: my hymen split horse riding – will my future husband know?

Vagina Riding a Horse

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I have a small tear in my hymen from horseback riding and now my hymen hole looks a lot bigger than it used to.

Is this normal?

Do most hymens have tears around them even if the person hasn’t had sex yet? 

I’m waiting to have sex till I get married but I’m afraid the man I get married to won’t believe I’m a virgin even though I am.

Also, I have small bumps/uneven skin around my urethra, I haven’t had sex and it doesn’t hurt to go to the bathroom, but all the photos I’ve looked at for hymens and urethras make them all look smooth and even. Is it normal for them not to be?



Dear Rider,

Thank you for your letter.

Uneven skin on vulva

To address your uneven skin around your urethra and hymen, everyone is different, and it might be completely normal for you to have those small bumps – there are a lot of glands and small ducts around the vulva and vagina, and may be more prominent in yours. These bumps may be Fordyce spots – check the pictures to see.

Unless they seem abnormal to you, or cause you a problem, they are likely to be completely normal. If you are worried, visit a sexual health clinic and show them. They will know immediately what they are and be able to arrest your fears.

The virginity conundrum

The virginity and hymen situation is an interesting topic worthy of many thoughtful discussions and the subject of much fiery debate. Read more about what being a virgin really means. 

First of all, I love that you know precisely how big the hole in your hymen is, and how it has changed from what it looked like before. Congratulations on being body aware and inspecting yourself so carefully. It’s wonderful to hear!

The second point is that men generally just want to stick their penis into your vagina, and aren’t going to be sitting around with a magnifying glass checking out your hymen. And if they are, then it’s kinda too late, because they already married you, presumably because they love and trust you.

If you belong to a religion or culture where you are checked prior to marriage, then you may be in a little more trouble. If you, however, are able to get married and your hymen be of little interest to your partner, then don’t worry. Hymens break all the time from riding bikes, horses, and masturbating – none of which include a penis of any kind.

Main point here?

Don’t marry someone who won’t believe what you say. Marriage is about trust and respect, a partnership, so when you find the man you want to marry, make sure you are thinking about what a wonderful man he is and vice versa. If you are feeling afraid of how he is going to judge you based on the arbitrary idea of your virginity, based on a flap of skin that may or may not have a bigger hole in it than it did last week, you may not be in for the funnest ride.

You will see at the time how insignificant it is in the face of a marriage for life. You are going to, very soon, have way more important problems to deal with. Luckily the virginity conundrum only lasts until a penis goes into your vagina, and then that man can ‘claim his prize’, and on you go.

I challenge you to find a man who knows what a hymen even looks like. Most women do not know what a hymen looks like, and you are definitely the exception. I have never spoken to a woman who knew what their hymen looked like, and whether it had changed after horse riding! I think it’s wonderful that you know this.

Keep inspecting your vagina. It’s time well spent. Don’t worry about your hymen stretching open – it happens all the time. Read about the hymen here, and your virginity here.

Happy horse riding my dear. Get amongst it.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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