If there was one thing in middle school I feared more than my mom finding out I had a boyfriend, it was the different and mysterious ways I may find blood in my underwear. Starting my period seemed pretty normal and inevitable, but I kept hearing chatter about cherries popping, which sent me into a state of panic. What did this mean and how do you know if you popped your cherry anyway? From the crude explanations of my misinformed peers, I gathered that this was a disastrous and painful thing that happened should anything other than toilet paper come near my vagina. To say I was horrified is an understatement.
One of the most misunderstood parts of the female anatomy is the hymen — better known by it's slang terminology, the "cherry" — which is a thin membrane that covers the opening to the vagina. It's been the subject of legend for years, and remains somewhat mysterious since doctors are still not sure what purpose the hymen serves. But the confusion doesn't end there. Just to keep you on your toes, Young Women's Health notes that there are four different types of hymens. Although they can look different, there are a few ways to tell if the hymen has been broken (or cherry popped). If you're curious about what's happened with your hymen, one of these three ways to tell for sure should answer your question.
Although the presence of blood is partly how the saying "popped your cherry" came to be, it is one of the surest ways to tell if your hymen is torn. According to the website, Our Bodies Ourselves, the hymen is often ruptured during play and there are various ways the tearing can occur. But every person is different, and while sometimes blood can be present, not every female will experience bleeding when her hymen tears.
2. Doctor's Exam
Part of responsible health care for women should include pelvic exams. When a doctor performs a gynecological exam, checking the hymen for signs of tearing can be included. Before the exam begins, ask you doctor to check things out and report back on the status of your hymen.
3. See For Yourself
To determine if your hymen is no longer in tact, get yourself a mirror and take a peek down below. As the Psychology Today pointed out, even after the hymen has been stretched, small bits of the tissue remain around the vaginal opening. You should be able to spot these if you look closely.