The membrane covering the vaginal canal is referred to as the hymen and signifies virginity in many cultures. While penetrative sex is generally the main reason why the hymen tears, there are a number of other factors that could lead to it being incomplete.
In some instances, the hymen may not have developed correctly but in other cases, trauma, tampons and exercise can also cause it to tear.
Women choose to have their hymen repaired for different reasons, including cultural, religious and social. Whatever the reason, hymenoplasty can be used to repair and reconstruct a torn hymen to restore the appearance of virginity.
The aim of hymen repair is to make the patient appear virginal to their partner, which is why the procedure is often performed 4 to 6 weeks before a wedding date.
This simple procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and generally takes less than an hour to complete. During the procedure, the doctor will close up the tear in the hymen by bringing the hymeneal ring membranes closer together. Skin from the vaginal wall is then used to create a mock hymen. Any remnants of the original hymen will be overlapped and stitched.
In the event that you feel slightly drowsy after your surgery, it’s best to have someone drive you home.
Patients can expect some mild discomfort during the first few days following their surgery but pain medication will be prescribed to alleviate this.
Most patients will be able to return to work within a day or two but sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least a month after your procedure. Tampons should also be avoided to prevent the new hymen from tearing.
Patients should also refrain from doing any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for at least a month after their surgery and smoking should be avoided until the hymen is completely healed.
It’s also recommended that a liner or pad be worn for about a week as some discharge is possible.
Who is an ideal candidate?
Women looking to repair and restore their hymens should be both physically and emotionally healthy before they proceed with a hymenoplasty
Any woman who is looking to restore the appearance of her hymen before her wedding night or for any other social or religious reasons is an ideal candidate for this procedure.