Hymenoplasty: An Overview


People have different views when it comes to virginity. Some people strongly value it while others don’t pay that much attention to it. If you belong to a culture that considers virginity important prior to getting married, a torn hymen can make you feel uncomfortable emotionally and psychologically.

However, if looking to regain your virginity a hymenoplasty is not the right procedure.

What Is Hymenoplasty?

Hymenoplasty refers to the procedure of reestablishing torn hymen which is, for most people, a presumed indication of virginity. This can be done by laser surgery or a full reconstruction of the hymen.

Since the procedure only addresses the entrance to the vagina, this does not mean your vagina will be tighter nor does it mean you will be a virgin again.  If you want your vagina wall to be tighter then a vaginal tightening procedure can also be done.

The hymen is a thin fleshy membrane that is located approximately about an inch from the opening of the Vagina. It has a small donut shape hole that allows for access into the vagina.

In general, the hymen forms while a woman is still inside the womb. It usually starts in the 4th month of pregnancy.

Most people think that the hymen acts as an impermeable seal. In reality, however, that’s not really the case. If the hymen is impermeable, there would be no way for your menstrual flow to leave your body.

The hymen is similar to the appendix in that both of them don’t really serve a purpose. Throughout history, however, an intact hymen is used by various cultures as an indication of a woman’s purity. They believe that the hymen only breaks after the first penile penetration. This is a myth. Your hymen can “break” without vaginal penetration during sexual intercourse. Once it breaks, it cannot grow back.

In clinical terms, there are actually a lot of things that can break the hymen. Performing strenuous activities, undergoing gynecological exams, and even the use of tampons can damage the hymen.

Therefore, using the presence or absence of the hymen to determine virginity is a waste of time. Even when it’s intact, you nor your partner cannot see it or feel it.

You are misled in thinking that you can preserve your hymen by not using tampons or any other menstrual  hygiene products that involves placement in the vagina. In fact , there are regular activities that can cause the hymen to stretch and tear such as:

  • gymnastics
  • riding a horse or anything including a bicycle
  • dancing
  • climbing trees
  • fall
  • any strenuous activity


Why Women Choose to Undergo Hymenoplasty


Women have various reasons for wanting to repair their hymen. The most common involves cultural beliefs.

As mentioned earlier, an intact hymen is valuable for certain cultures because it indicates purity. Women who are concerned about their upcoming nuptials see their plastic surgeon for this procedure.

Women who experienced sexual assault may also consider hymenoplasty. Sexual assaults often leave serious traumatic psychological issues and reconstructing the hymen provides psychological comfort. It also encourages healing.

There are also women who consider hymenoplasty to bury the past. These women may have engaged in sexual activities due to sexual curiosity at a young age, peer pressure, and the effects of hormonal changes.

As they mature, they find the activities they’ve previously engaged in as regretful. Reconstructing the hymen gives them a sense of starting over.

Techniques in Performing Hymenoplasty: Is it Painful?

Everyones pain tolerance is different, but without the anesthetic agent it is definitely painful. The severity of pain depends on the procedure and skill of the surgeon. The least painful of the below is the laser procedure.

In general, there are three techniques used in the reconstruction and repair of the hymen.

The laser technique uses laser to recreate the hymen. You won’t need to stay over night. Right before the procedure starts local anesthesia is injected  around the area to numb it up. If you are anxious or tense, you can ask for a pill sedative. 

The Alloplant technique, on the other hand, is recommended for cases where there’s not enough hymen left. It requires the insertion of a biomaterial which will act as the hymen. This technique generally takes about 2 hours to complete.

Hymen reconstruction is a bit more complex because it involves the creation of the hymen from the tissues of the vaginal lips. For this procedure, you are strongly advised to not engage in any sexual intercourse for about 3 months

The Recovery Time

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and there’s no need for you to stay in the hospital after. You may even get back to work the very next day.

However, to support healing, you are not allowed to engage in strenuous activities. Heavy lifting isn’t allowed, too.

Complete healing takes about 6 weeks. At that point, you won’t be able to see any signs of the surgery. It will be virtually impossible to tell whether your hymen is natural or reconstructed.

Post-Operative Care

You should receive specific postoperative instructions from your surgeon that includes some of the below. The instructions you receive from your doctor supersedes below. Don’t be afraid to ask question. The outcome of the surgery also depends on how well you take care of your new hymen.

After the procedure, once the numbing medicine wears off  there’s a chance that you will  experience pain or soreness around your vagina. If you received a sedative or anesthesia you might also be sleepy and nauseated. Be sure to inform your nurse if you are nauseated and/or have pain. The sleepiness will wear off after a few hours. 

You’ll be checked for abnormal bleeding and if there’s none, you will be allowed to return home. Urinating by yourself is also checked prior to getting discharged.

To manage pain, you will be given prescriptions for a pain killers . However, over the counter pain medication are sometimes effective as prescription. If you are not allergic to ibuprofen it works great for swelling and pain. Tylenol is also a good option. If you had extensive reconstruction, might also receive prescription for an antibiotic.

To prevent constipation and straining you might also be given a laxative.

Keep the area clean and dry

No smoking

Nothing inside the vagina

No tight clothes or underwear

How Long Will the Effects Last?

Hymenoplasty, as long as it’s done by a skilled surgeon, has a long-lasting effect. With proper care, it can definitely last until the next sexual activity.

The Complications

In rare cases hymenoplasty can cause the entrance to the vagina to become too narrow.

All surgeries come with a risk of pain, bleeding and infection. This includes Hymenoplasty. Since laser hymenoplasty is done using local anesthesia it has less risk of complications. If you are not healthy (heart disease, obese, smoker) General Anesthesia carries a risk of death, heart attack, stroke  pneumonia and others. 


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