The virginity of women in India is a big deal. Most educated people understand that hymen cannot certify for sure whether someone is a virgin or not. However, there are still many who think that if a woman did not bleed on her first night, then she is ‘characterless.’ There are tons of ways in which the hymen could be broken other than intercourse. Activities like gymnastics, horseback riding, and even using a tampon could do it. Some women are even born without a hymen. But alas, the pressure falls upon them to ‘prove their virginity’ whether they want to or not. Virginity Pills/ capsules Although there were many ways in which women have tried to fake blood to prove their virginity, the most recent one is ‘advanced’ to say the least. There are i-virgin capsules available on Amazon India. The company received flack for supporting the outdated tradition. But Amazon cannot keep checking every product that is ever listed on the platform and cross-check it with the respective country’s customs. The seller on Amazon explained that the package contained a “blood powder capsule.” The lady is just supposed to insert it in her vagina a few hours before the intercourse. By the time of penetration, the capsule will be completely dissolved and released in a liquid-like substance that will look like blood. As absurd as it may sound, Amazon has sold quite a few of these products. The interesting part is that the pill is not alone! You can also find “red liquid capsules for the first night.” The website has an in-depth explanation of how it all works. Oh, and foreplay is a big no-no. If you happen to enjoy sex and get aroused, you may not be able to con your man! Side-effects The website for the product and even the description on Amazon say that there are no side-effects to the capsule. But it goes without saying that you should probably not trust a pill sold online that claims to help fake your virginity! Dr. Shweta Goswami, a gynecologist, says that ‘Inserting anything into your vagina increases chances of vaginal infection.’ It may even cause inflammation or an allergic reaction. Capsules like these should not be used under any circumstances. They can cause adverse effects on your health. The vagina is a sensitive and delicate area. Even douchebags are not recommended to use when they are supposed to help keep the area clean. Imagine how bad it must be to use a pill that releases fake blood! Virginity tests for women While we may openly condemn how products like these encourage the tradition, we are privileged enough not to experience it. For the women of Kanjarbhat in the western state of Maharashtra, this tradition is still very real. The practice is said to be 400 years old. The bride’s virginity is checked by bloodstains found on the bedsheet. The newly-wed couple is instructed to sleep on the particular bedsheet and consummate their marriage. If there was no bloodstain, the family of the bride is fined and is even considered to be an outcast. The youth of the area is actively trying to get the act banned, but they are facing resistance from the elders of the community. The youth group has even been threatened with a social boycott. While it is easy for us to sit in our homes and pass judgmental comments, it is not so easy for the women who have to go through it. You must have heard the saying ‘need creates demand.’ This is exactly that. Women must be actively looking for something like the virgin capsule, which is why the pill was created in the first place. Getting the products removed from online platforms or stores will only superficially solve the problem. The problem lies in the mindset of people. It can only be tackled by education and awareness. Sex education would also play a huge role in eliminating these problems and understanding how the human body works.