Your Health

Hymenoplasty – All You Want to Know

What Is hymenoplasty?

Hymenoplasty, also called hymenorraphy, is the restoration, repair or replacement of the hymen in a woman’s vagina. It has other names too, such as, hymen construction, hymen repair or revirginization. [1]

The Hymen

The hymen is actually a membrane found in the lower part of the vagina when it is intact. It begins to form before birth, at approximately the 4th month of pregnancy. It is shaped like a half moon, contrary to popular belief assuming that it completely shuts the vagina in a rounded form. In some cultures and religion, the hymen is symbolic for a woman’s purity, celibacy and virginity. It is erroneously assumed that the absence of this membrane spelt promiscuity. However, there are other ways through which the membrane can be broken, for example via engaging in strenuous activities, riding on horseback or bicycle, athletics, inspecting the vagina with a gloved finger or tampon etc. What’s more, the hymen is absent at birth in some females (about 1 in 1000 of women). [2]

Reasons for Hymenoplasty

There are different reasons women opt for hymenoplasty. Women from cultures where the hymen is venerated are made to see their virginity as a gift they must offer to the one most befitting of it. Most often this person is the one they get married to. And the proof of their virginity and innocence is the intact hymen which would be broken on their wedding night. In such scenario, if the hymen is broken unintentionally or due to abuse, they are more likely to seek a hymenoplasty. Other reasons for hymenoplasty include:

• Traumatic sexual assault can prompt a woman to seek a hymen repair as a way to re-enact control over her own sexuality and perhaps, grant her another chance at being a virgin since she didn’t intentionally lose her virginity in the first place.

• Some women who have had their hymen accidentally ruptured due to some physical activity, such as horse riding, may seek to repair their hymen on grounds that they had lost it in an unacceptable manner.

• Due to congenital defect in the hymen, maybe blocking menstrual flow later in puberty.

• Some women who would like to present the hymen as a gift to their husbands on their wedding night, may also wish to get a ruptured hymen repaired before the wedding.

There are many other reasons for which women undergo hymenoplasty, you can look them up later. [3]

Procedure for Hymenoplasty

Considering hymenoplasty is not very common, you would like to know what to expect in the surgery. Below is a brief guide on how it goes.


For a successful surgery free of complications, certain adjustments should be made by the patient, and certain medications should be stopped, especially blood thinners and emergency contraceptives. You should quit smoking several weeks before your hymen repair surgery. Taking alcohol should be avoided within 3 days of the surgery.


During hymenoplasty, the doctor may choose to construct a new hymen if there wasn’t one in the first place. However, if the hymen were present at birth before it was ruptured, the torn edges may be trimmed, and the repair is then carried out. The repair may involve the use of a flap of vaginal lining with its blood supply intact. In the case of a cosmetic construction, a blood-like substance may be innoculated to create a similar situation. The surgery takes about an hour to complete. The patient is treated with anesthesia before the surgery.


In most cases, hymenoplasty isn’t accompanied by any serious complications, although mild bleeding is a common occurrence. There might be some swelling around the area (which is normal). There is no noticeable difference between a constructed hymen and a natural one. Within 3 days of the surgery, you’re free to resume work, and within 6 weeks to 3 months sexual penetration can be permitted. [4]