The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening of the vagina. While it is traditionally shaped as a half-moon tipped sideways, it can naturally grow in size over time. Some women are born without a hymen, and common activities like exercise, inserting tampons, and undergoing Pap smears can stretch out the hymen’s opening. During first sexual intercourse, the hymen can in some cases suffer a slight tear or be stretched, releasing a small amount of blood. For some, it is important to have a hymen that is completely in tact, and hymen repair may be beneficial.
What is the procedure like? The patient is placed under sedation and given a local anesthetic. In a procedure that takes less than an hour, the remnants of the hymen will be stitched back together, allowing these tissues to heal together to form a new hymen. If the patient was born without a hymen or has no remaining hymen tissue left, tissue from the vagina will be used to create a new one. It is important to keep in mind that the hymen repair needs to be performed with a few weeks allowed for the treatment area to heal. During the intervening period, nothing should be inserted into the vagina, including tampons, to ensure the repaired hymen is not disturbed.
What is the recovery like? Patients can return to their regular activities 24 hours after the surgery, but should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for several weeks post-surgery. The area will need to be kept clean and there will be some minor discomfort and swelling for a few days; usually antibiotics and pain medications will be provided during the post-surgical period. The sutures used will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed.
Is hymen repair right for me? Hymen reconstruction can be considered for a variety of reasons, but it is a highly personal decision. A consultation with our team can help you further understand this procedure and if it could benefit you.
If you are interested in learning more about hymen repair, contact us today at Colen MD Plastic Surgery and schedule a consultation with our qualified team. We proudly serve the NYC area with locations in Manhattan, NY, and Hackensack, NJ.