A hymen is a thin membrane at the entrance of the vagina and arises from a structure called the hymeneal ring. The hymen has historical and traditional importance as in many cultures throughout the ages and even now it is a symbol of virginity and thus chastity. When the hymen broke during intercourse on the wedding night the blood on the sheets would be shown to family of the groom to vouch that the bride was a virgin upon marriage. These practices continue today in some cultures. The hymen has many shapes and configurations. It can be a thin membrane with many perforations (to allow blood and discharge through), it can be a membrane covering ½ or ¼ of the entrance to the vagina, it can just be a slim membrane band running across the vaginal introitus. Sometimes babies are born with the hymen covering the whole vaginal entrance. This must be tx as a passage must be present especially at puberty during menses. The occluding hymen can be partially removed surgically or may respond to treatment with estrogen cream. In our surgicenter many women request hymen reconstruction. Some do it as they have lived in the West and now are getting married in their cultural tradition with all the requirements of the traditional wedding. The husbands to be and their family demand that she should be a virgin. Some want the hymen back if they remarry as a “surprise” of feeling young again. Whatever, the reason it is a very simple surgical procedure. A piece of the mucosa of the vaginal lining is used to make the hymen. It acts and looks as the original virginal hymen. The procedure can be done with sedation and local anesthetic. Pain is minimal and recovery takes about two weeks. The patient goes home after the procedure with prescriptions for pain and antibiotics. Bicycling or vigorous exercises are prohibited for about 3 weeks. Sutures used are dissolvable. During menses, a pad has to be used.
If you have any questions call the office and make an appointment and all will be explained to you in great detail.