It is important to see your doctors
">doctor or gynecologist regularly. He or she can take a thorough history and perform a physical examination. This should be completed at least yearly, in addition to regular Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus. The HPV virus can affect both the vagina and anus. The hymen is a thin membrane inside the vaginal canal. The hymen can be broken by vaginal intercourse. The hymen can also be broken by trauma, such as falling onto a bicycle seat, which can occur before adulthood. Anal intercourse can cause tearing of the anus and rectum, and damage to the surrounding structures, such as the sphincters. This can lead to problems with defecation or incontinence if traumatic, and because it is often unprotected, can cause sexually transmitted infections in the anus, similar to the way that sexually transmitted infections can affect the vagina. It would be difficult to perform a vaginal exam on yourself. At the doctors office, there is special equipment that allows your primary care doctor
or gynecologist to visualize the vaginal canal, and cervix, both of which should be examined as directed by your doctor. I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist.