A hymenoplasty is a surgical procedure that restores the hymen, a membrane that partially covers the opening of the vagina. A hymenoplasty procedure is typically done for religious or cultural purposes as an intact hymen is considered a sign of virginity for some.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
The hymen is a membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening. The shape and appearance of the hymen will vary between women but is typically a half moon shape at the bottom of the vaginal opening. A hymen can be broken or torn at different times during a woman’s life, whether caused by tampon insertion, exercise, or sexual intercourse. Minor bleeding is commonly associated with the breaking of the hymen. In some cultures and religions, an intact hymen is associated with a woman’s virginity. A hymenoplasty, sometimes referred to as hymenorrhaphy or hymen construction surgery, is usually performed for cultural or religious reasons prior to marriage. Others seek the surgery as a form of therapy after sexual assault. No matter the reason for having the hymen restored, the surgery can be completed in less than an hour under local anesthesia with immediately visible results. During surgery, the patient will only require a local anesthesia but may be given a sedative for comfort throughout the procedure. The patient will lay comfortably on a table with the pegs spread apart. The hymen will be identified and partially excised to eliminate uneven tissue from previous tearing. The hymen will be sutured together in two layers using dissolvable stitches. For some women, a small piece of tissue from another part of the vagina may need to be grafted to the vaginal opening to recreate the hymen.
The goal of a hymenoplasty is to restore the appearance of the hymen.
What to Expect
A hymenoplasty is a surgical procedure that restores the hymen, a membrane that partially covers the opening of the vagina. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a hymenoplasty procedure.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications 10 days prior
- Stoping taking birth control medications 10 days prior
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- No alcohol 3 days prior
- Local anesthesia
- Hymen partially excised to eliminate uneven tissue
- Hymen sutured together in two layers using dissolvable stitches
- Small piece of tissue may need to be grafted to the vaginal opening for some patients
Patients are typically able to return to work after 3 to 4 days. Moderate activity can be resumed after 10 days but more vigorous activity can be resumed as tolerated after 2-3 weeks and 6 weeks for penetrative sexual activity.
Women who are in good overall health who are seeking to restore their hymen for religious, cultural, cosmetic, or physcological reasons are good candidates for a hymenoplasty.
Not Recommended For
Hymenoplasty is not recommended for patients under the age of 18.
Side effects of hymenoplasty can include swelling, tenderness, spotting and discharge. Hymenoplasty procedure may create discomfort for future sexual activities.