Hymen repair (hymenoplasty) is the cosmetic repair, restoration, or construction of a woman’s hymen, and is often requested by women for physical, psychological, or cultural reasons. Restoration of the hymen is also known as hymenoplasty or revirginization.REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION
What is a Hymen?
The hymen consists of human tissue which resembles an oval rubber washer that partially or completely covers the vaginal opening. This ring-shaped membrane can be thin and flexible or thick and rigid. It begins to form while the female is still in the womb, usually beginning in about the fourth month of pregnancy.
Contrary to what many believe, except in rare cases, the hymen is not an impenetrable seal. If this were the case, there would be no portal for menstrual flow or healthy, normal vaginal discharge to leave the body. Also, the first rupture of the hymen, regardless of the method, doesn’t always draw blood, and is not always painful.
Watch as Dr. Litrel performs a hymen repair.
Throughout history, the hymen has served as undeniable, positive proof of a woman’s purity and innocence. Even to this day, in many cultures, an intact hymen still indicates virginity, especially if there is the presence of blood upon first penile penetration.
Clinically speaking, however, a torn or damaged hymen is not irrefutable confirmation of virginity loss by sexual activity. Depending on its rigidity, hymen injury can be caused by normal everyday activities such as strenuous athletics, horseback or bicycle riding, a simple gynecological examination with speculum or gloved finger insertion, or masturbation. Even placing a tampon into the vagina may rupture it.
In some cases, a hymen may not be present at all, as approximately 1 in 1,000 women are born without one.
What Happens During Hymen Repair?
Hymen repair is usually a simple outpatient procedure that can be done in our clinic under local anesthesia. Any torn skin around the edges of the hymen is gently and neatly cut away, after which the remaining tissue is stitched together, leaving a small opening. This restores the hymenal ring to a normal size and shape.
If there is not enough skin to restore the hymen, or if a hymen is nonexistent, the surgeon may create one, using either some of the body’s own thin vaginal skin (vaginal mucosa) or a synthetic tissue. A small blood supply may be added, either artificial or the patient’s own taken from a piece of vaginal flap, thus simulating the traditional bleeding upon subsequent penetration.
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What is the Recovery Time?
The surgery can be expected to take anywhere from one to two hours depending on the amount of repair needed. Though this is a clinical procedure with no hospital stay necessary, and women may return to work the next day, strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided. During the first 48 to 72 hours, there may be some slight bleeding, but this is perfectly normal.
Full healing takes approximately six weeks. There will be no visible signs of surgery and it will be impossible to tell the difference between a natural hymen and a reconstructed one. At this time, the reconstruction process will be complete, and all the sensations associated with virginal, first time sex may be experienced.
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There are rarely complications. However, the doctor should be contacted if the patient experiences any of the following symptoms:
- Pain beyond moderate discomfort after three days
- Unusual or foul-smelling discharge
- Intense itching
- Abnormal bleeding
Why Choose Cherokee Women’s Health for Hymen Repair?
Our board-certified, double accredited OB/GYN surgeons have over 35 combined years experience performing vaginal rejuvenation so they know a woman’s body inside and out. They are also certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS), a highly coveted accreditation which requires years of training while meeting strict requirements set forth by the American Board of Medicine (ABMS).
Depending on why you might request hymenoplasty, this may be a delicate subject to discuss. Rest assured that our doctors are familiar with the many reasons patients ask for this procedure, and fully understand your discomfort and shyness in regard to this subject. It’s your body. We want to help make you as comfortable and confident with it as possible.
To learn more about hymenoplasty or to schedule an an appointment with one of our doctors, please call 770.721.6060.