At one time, it was believed that the hymen is the “symbol” of a woman’s virginity. However, in reality, the hymen is a very thin piece of tissue that could be torn apart in many non-sexual ways, which are attributed to, in addition to the first sexual intercourse, strenuous and demanding activities such as gymnastics, horse riding, cycling, or even tampon use.
Some women particularly from Latin America and Middle Eastern cultures are greatly concerned about their virginity and often times seek to restore their “hymen” for the following reasons:
- Cultural or religious purposes: In certain cultures a woman is physically examined to ensure that the hymen is intact – a proof that she is a virgin.
- As part of a healing process: Women who have gone through rape, incest or sexual abuse consider this as a way to empower themselves and symbolically reclaim something that was taken from them.
- Damage to the hymen before marriage: Strenuous and demanding activities such as gymnastics, horseback riding, cycling or even tampon use.
General Notes & Precautions
1) Important points to consider about the Hymenoplasty
- The Hymenoplasty is a very delicate and meticulous surgical procedure that places the hymenal ring and tissues in close proximity to each other. The sections (usually the upper-layer of tissues) that have been torn are removed. After the torn tissues are removed, the remaining edges are stitched together. Doing so recreates a star-shaped hymenal ring’. This ring imitates the original hymen structure before it was broken.
- The newly formed small ‘ring’ will continue to fuse together over time. Eventually, it will very closely resemble your original hymen. The hole will be quite small, therefore, after marriage or whatever the occasion may be, the tissue will tear and bleed as it did once before. In certain cases, vaginal lip lining may be used to develop a new hymen. This lining contains a network of veins making it a suitable hymen replacement as it has the ability to bleed when torn.
- Hymenoplasty is not allowed for women with immunodeficiency. In addition, Hymenoplasty is not a suitable option for women, who have vaginally birthed a child. Preferably, women should also never have been pregnant.
- The Hymenoplasty surgery may result to incomplete restoration of the hymenal ring depending on the woman’s former hymen structure. Since the hymen tissues are very thin, sometimes it is not possible to completely fix the hymenal ring, which the surgery requires perineoplasty to obtain a more satisfactory hymenoplasty result by decreasing the wound tension to the thin hymen. Together, these surgeries can rejuvenate and re-tighten the relaxed perineum at the same time, thus providing a more youthful and cosmetically pleasing vulva as it was prior to breakage. This will be complete with a reconstructed hymen, for a maximum confidence of virgin youthfulness.
- Like any other surgeries, the Hymenoplasty has limitations and cannot absolutely ensure results and satisfaction, as there are many other factors affecting the surgery’s success. In case of unsatisfactory results or complications, correction surgery may be performed as appropriate and possible. In this respect, you and the physician should come to discuss for the solution together.
- If correction surgery is needed due to the complication of the surgery, all expenses for services and treatment will no longer be charged to you. However, if the unsatisfactory results occur due to the complication from your non-compliance with the doctor’s orders, you will be charged accordingly.
- The important preparations you should know before the Hymenoplasty are that within 2-3 days after the surgery, you should take a rest (refrain from work) and be still to enable the wound to heal faster, and have little movement as possible to avoid wound disruption for 1 week after the surgery. You should refrain from some types of exercise affecting pelvic muscle movement and sexual intercourse for at least 8-12 weeks after the surgery.
A, B, and C show a normal hymen, a membrane that partially covers the opening.
D shows an imperforate hymen which completely closes the vagina.
E shows a vagina of a woman who has given birth.
- The Hymenoplasty is performed in our operating room for approximately 1 hour under Intravenous (IV) Sedation and Local Anesthesia. You have to refrain from drinking water or food for at least 6 hours prior to the surgery in order to decrease the risk of aspirating gastric contents during or after the surgery. This complication is very serious, and you need to strictly follow our recommendations. Within the day of the appointment for the surgery, you should not drive yourself after the surgery in order to protect against any accidents caused by dizziness as a result of the sedation.
- The Hymenoplasty is one of the most complex and meticulous cosmetic surgeries performed today. It requires extensive experience, precision, and accuracy to create the optimal results you desire and deserve. Many surgeons have little to no experience with this type of advanced cosmetic gynecology surgery. You should research and be conscious of the surgeon’s educational background, training, and practical experience.