A hymenectomy is a minor procedure to surgically remove or open the hymen. It is done for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with the malformation of the hymen. Some women have this surgery to increase their comfort during intercourse, while others need it for health reasons. Depending on your condition, your gynecologist may perform a septate hymen surgery, a microperforate hymenectomy or a partial hymenectomy. Risks, including bleeding after hymenectomy procedures, are minimal, especially when performed by a one of the top OB/GYN in Queens, NYC that are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team.
There is a myth that hymen is the barrier denoting a woman’s virginity. This myth has long been debunked, as the hymen must already be partially open to allow for menstruation in all women of childbearing age. The hymen is designed to move with pressure.
Usually, the hymen looks like a fringe of tissue around the vaginal opening. It is not an intact piece of tissue draped across it. Some girls are born without a hymen, others have only a fringe of tissue. Moreover, for all its fabled mystery, the hymen is just a body part.
Hymens can come in different shapes
The most common hymen in young women is shaped like a half moon. This shape allows menstrual blood to flow out of the vagina and rarely requires any medical intervention.
Some hymen shapes can lead to medical issues, but all of these conditions are highly treatable.
Imperforate hymen: An imperforate hymen can sometimes be diagnosed in a newborn. More often, the diagnosis is made when the girl becomes an adolescent. An imperforate hymen is a thin membrane that completely covers the opening to the vagina preventing menstrual blood from flowing out of the vagina. This usually causes the blood to back up into the vagina, which often develops into a vaginal mass and may lead to abdominal or back pain. Some girls may also have pain with bowel movements and trouble passing urine.
The treatment for an imperforate hymen is minor surgery to remove the extra tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.
Microperforate hymen: A microperforate hymen is a thin membrane that almost completely covers the opening to the vagina. Menstrual blood is usually able to flow out of the vagina, but the opening is very small. A young woman with a microperforate hymen usually will not be able to use a tampon and may not realize that she has a very tiny opening. If she is able to place a tampon into her vagina, she may not be able to remove it when it becomes filled with blood.
The treatment is minor surgery to remove the extra hymenal tissue creating a normal sized opening for menstrual blood to flow out, and to allow for use of a tampon.
Septate hymen: A septate hymen is a thin hymenal membrane with a band of extra tissue in the middle that causes two small vaginal openings instead of one. Young women with a septate hymen may have trouble getting a tampon in or trouble getting a tampon out. The treatment for a septate hymen is minor surgery to remove the extra band of tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.
Reasons for Hymenectomy Procedure.
There are several reasons for performing a hymenectomy, including:
- Decreased comfort or pain experienced during sexual intercourse
- Absence of normal menstruation, which can cause the blood to back up into your vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, or your abdomen, a life-threatening condition
- Severe abdominal pain during your periods
Septate hymen surgery or a microperforate hymenectomy can resolve these issues.
The Hymenectomy Procedure
The surgery is a simple outpatient procedure usually performed in your doctor’s office in Forest Hills, Queens. Your hymen is opened with scissors or a scalpel, and the tissue is cut away. To close the incisions, your gynecologist will use the sutures that will dissolve on their own.
What to Expect After Your Hymenectomy
There are several different kinds of hymenectomy procedures — such as a septate hymen surgery, a microperforate hymenectomy and a partial hymenectomy — but all involve similar recovery patterns. After a hymenectomy, your doctor gives you instructions that may include:
- Applying a prescription-strength topical cream or ointment to keep your stitches soft and clean, or to help with any discomfort
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription pain medicine to alleviate any discomfort you may feel
- Not taking aspirin, as it can cause bleeding after hymenectomy procedures
- Not having intercourse until you are fully healed, usually in about six weeks
- Not douching or using tampons
- Returning to your usual, well-balanced diet
- Using an ice pack to help prevent swelling
- Taking a warm sitz bath (a warm shallow bath for your perineum), after several days, two or three times a day, as needed to help the stitches dissolve
- Not lifting anything over five pounds until you are cleared by the doctor
Seek medical attention right away if:
- You run a temperature of 102 degrees.
- You have abnormal, greenish vaginal discharge. A small amount of yellowish, brownish, or reddish is normal, as there may be some slight bleeding after a hymenectomy.
- You develop problems with your medication.
- You develop a rash.
- There is severe cramping.
- You become weak and pass out.
- You notice bloody urination, especially several days after the procedure.
- There is excessive bleeding after the hymenectomy.
Pros and Cons of a Hymenectomy
As with any procedure, there are benefits and risks to performing a hymenectomy, including some surgical risks. After your procedure, you usually can expect:
- Relief of discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Relief from potential bladder infections associated with an unbroken hymen and intercourse aggravating the urethra
- Reduction of the significant health problems associated with blocked menstrual flow, including infection
- Ability to use tampons
The risks involved with a hymenectomy are rare, since it’s a simple and straightforward procedure. Refraining from intercourse for the duration of the healing process may be an issue for some women and their partners. Also, although the procedure isn’t expensive, the lack of insurance or insurance coverage may give some women pause before agreeing to the procedure. Other risks include:
- Infection from the procedure
- Excessive bleeding after hymenectomy surgery
- Burning at urination for up to two months after the procedure
- Lingering pain
- Painful scar tissue, which is extremely rare, especially when the procedure is done by a top OB/GYN in Queens, NYC
- Injury to the urethra, which may require further treatment
What Is a Partial Hymenectomy?
While the myth of an unbroken hymen as an indicator of virginity has been debunked medically, many religious groups place a high value on an intact hymen. If for religious purposes, an intact hymen is important, your OB/GYN can perform a partial hymenectomy. This procedure restores normal menstrual flow. A very thick, rigid hymen is replaced with a reduced, thin layer allowing for normal menstruation. Honest and open communication with your doctor is essential for the best success of your procedure.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. In our office we believe that how you are treated is just as important as the medical care we provide. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in performing all types of hymenectomy procedures.
We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331