What is Hymenoplasty?

Dr Priya Sharma

Dr Priya Sharma

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 6 years of experience

January 30, 2022 Womens Health 386 Views


What is the meaning of Hymenoplasty?

Hymenoplasty is a surgical procedure done to cosmetically repair, restore, or construct a woman’s hymen. Hymenoplasty is also known as hymenorrhaphy and the restoration of the hymen is known as revirginization.

The hymen is a thin membrane that partially covers the lower part of the vagina.

The hymen may tear during the initial sexual encounters and may result in bleeding. In many cultures, this is considered as a sign of the virginity of a woman. However, the hymen can also tear when doing certain sporting activities or exercises like cycling, gymnastics, swimming, or horseback riding. The use of tampons or an injury or fall can also result in a torn hymen.

In this article, we will be talking in detail about the hymenoplasty procedure.

  • What is the purpose of Hymenoplasty?
  • What is the diagnostic procedure before Hymenoplasty?
  • How to prepare for Hymenoplasty?
  • What is the procedure of Hymenoplasty?
  • How to care after Hymenoplasty?
  • What are the complications of Hymenoplasty?
  • What is the cost of Hymenoplasty in India?

What is the purpose of Hymenoplasty?

Hymenoplasty is performed when the hymen is either torn or ruptured. This procedure is performed in women who are healthy, not suffering from any pre-existing serious medical conditions, and are above 18 years of age.

Hymenoplasty is done in the following cases:

  • The woman may have a torn hymen due to previous sexual encounters, but certain cultural and religious beliefs that an intact hymen is a sign of virginity may prompt her to opt for hymenoplasty before marriage.
  • Rupture or tearing of hymen due to an injury.
  • In cases of sexual assault and rape that have caused trauma to the woman, she may opt for hymenoplasty for psychological reasons.
  • Use of tampons may rupture the hymen.
  • The hymen may be torn during physical activities like riding a cycle, swimming, gymnastics, horseback riding.
  • Hymenoplasty may be used for enhancing sexual pleasure. This is especially true after childbirth or due to aging when the hymen disrupts or becomes flaccid.
  • Imperforate hymen: In cases of an imperforate hymen (when the hymen covers the entire opening of the vagina, blocking the menstrual flow) a hymenoplasty procedure called hymenotomy is performed to make a small hole in the membrane allowing blood flow.
  • Septate hymen: A very rigid and thick hymen or a hymen split into rope-like bands is known as a septate hymen. The septate hymen can be corrected by the use of tampons, penile penetration, or by doing hymenotomy.
  • Microperforate hymen: A microperforate hymen has a very small opening permitting menstrual flow. It usually doesn’t require any treatment, but a female who wishes to use tampons may need hymenoplasty to enlarge the hole.
  • Cribriform hymen: This type of hymen is very rare. The cribriform hymen has many openings making it difficult for a woman to experience sexual pleasure or insert a tampon. This may require a hymenoplasty for correction.

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What is the diagnostic procedure before Hymenoplasty?

  • Physical examination and Pelvic exam: The doctor will first physically examine the patient. This includes a pelvic exam in which the doctor inserts one or two gloved fingers into the vagina. This test helps in determining if the hymen is torn or intact. Also if the hymen is intact, the doctor may check for the thickness of the hymen and if it may be obstructing the menstrual flow by blocking the vagina.
  • Medical and sexual history: The doctor will take the complete medical history and the history of any previous sexual encounters of the patient.
  • Vaginal or pelvic ultrasound: This procedure uses sound waves to create clear images of the female reproductive organs. It helps in confirming the diagnosis of either an imperforate hymen or a septate hymen.

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How to prepare for Hymenoplasty?

  • The patient should inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions that she may be suffering from.
  • The patient should inform the doctor about any supplements, medicines, or herbs she may be taking before the surgery.
  • The doctor may instruct the patient to stop taking any blood-thinning medications like aspirin and warfarin a few days before the surgery, as these medications may cause an increase in bleeding during the surgery and post-surgery.
  • The patient is instructed to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight the day before the surgery.
  • The patient is instructed to quit smoking at least two weeks before the surgery.

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What is the procedure of Hymenoplasty?

There are different techniques that can be used for hymenoplasty:

The basic technique:

  • This type of hymenoplasty surgery can be performed under local anesthesia (the surgical site is made numb) or general anesthesia (the patient is put to sleep during the procedure).
  • When there are remains of the hymen present this technique is used.
  • The remains of the hymen are stitched back together using dissolvable sutures (stitches).
  • Once the stitches dissolve, the scars dissolve within the folds of the lips of the vagina, and it appears to be exactly like an intact hymen.
  • The entire procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes and is usually performed on an outpatient basis (that is, the patient can go home on the same day of surgery, and an overnight stay in the hospital is not required).

The All plant technique:

  • This procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
  • This technique is used when the remnants of the hymen cannot be stitched back together.
  • A biomaterial is inserted by the surgeon into the vagina and this tear-through material functions like a hymen.
  • The procedure takes about two hours to complete.

Hymen reconstruction:

  • In this procedure, the surgeon creates a new hymen by using the tissues from the lips of the vagina.
  • One needs to avoid sexual intercourse for a minimum of three months after this procedure.

Laser reconstruction hymenoplasty:

  • The hymen is reconstructed completely using laser beams in this procedure.
  • The hymen after complete recovery replicate a natural hymen.

Laser vaginal rejuvenation:

  • This procedure uses laser beams to fix a torn hymen.
  • It is a non-invasive procedure, has quicker recovery, and is more comfortable.

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How to care after Hymenoplasty?

  • The patient is observed for 3 to 4 hours in the recovery room post-surgery and if there are no complications, she is discharged.
  • The woman can go to work 3 to 4 days after the surgery. However, moderate activities can be resumed only after 10 days. Complete healing takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Avoid any strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects during the recovery period.
  • Apply warm compresses and ice packs to get relief from pain and swelling.
  • The surgical area needs to be kept clean and dry.
  • The doctor may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to relieve the patient from pain and prevent any infection.
  • The woman can take a bath 2 to 3 days after the procedure.
  • Sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least 8 weeks after the surgery.

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What are the complications of Hymenoplasty?

The complications associated with hymenoplasty are:

  • Swelling
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Itching
  • Infection
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Hymen discoloration
  • Inflammation of the skin around the wound area

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Complications are usually rare and if present, are mild and heal on their own. However, if you notice a serious complication that doesn’t get better with time, contact your doctor immediately.

What is the cost of Hymenoplasty in India?

The total cost of hymenoplasty in India can range from around INR 15,000 to INR 60,000. However, the cost of surgery may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for hymenoplasty. But the cost varies across different hospitals. If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of hymenoplasty surgery, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the surgery, the patient is kept in hospital for 1 day and in the hotel for 7 days for recovery. So, the total cost of hymenoplasty in India comes to be around INR 20,000 to INR 80,000. 

We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding hymenoplasty through this article.

If you need more information and treatment of hymenoplasty, you can contact a Gynecologist.

We aim to provide you with information through this article. We do not recommend any medicine or treatment to anyone. Only a doctor can give you good advice and the correct treatment plan.

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