What is the treatment?
Hymenoplasty is a surgery performed to restore a ruptured hymen. Hymen is a symbol of purity in many cultures whereas scientific evidences suggest that this thin membrane was meant to keep out infection in the vagina. Although a hymen is a sign of virginity, it can get ruptured due to non-sexual reasons such as running, jumping or any other form of athletic activities; some women are also born without a hymen!
Hymenoplasty can be done in two ways – if the remnants of the hymen are present, then it can be stitched back together. The second option is to reconstruct a new hymen using tissues from the patient’s body. Along with restoring the hymen, you can also get the vaginal walls tightened. This surgery will repair the hymen, but you will experience bleeding and discomfort the next time it ruptures.
Although a lot of conservative societies emphasize the need for a virgin bride, this procedure has gained immense popularity in the less conservative societies such as in the United States and Europe.
Hymenoplasty is a very safe procedure, but you need to be very careful when you pick a doctor. Since this is done in an intimate area of the body, you need to make sure that you are very comfortable with the doctor. Do your research and choose a doctor who has sufficient experience and expertise in performing the procedure.
How is the treatment done?
First of all, you will need to schedule a consultation with the doctor to discuss the procedure and make your expectations clear and concise. The doctor will give you an insight about the surgery along with instructions to prepare for hymenoplasty.
- The basic technique - If there are remains of the hymen, it can be stitched back together. A local or sometimes a general anesthesia will be administered to prevent pain and discomfort. The surgeon will then sew the torn parts together – the stitches are dissolvable. The entire surgery takes around 30 to 40 minutes and it is usually done on an outpatient basis.
- The Alloplant technique – This technique is followed when the remnants cannot be stitched back together. The surgeon will insert a biomaterial into the vagina and this tear-through material will function as the hymen. This procedure takes around two hours and you will be under local anesthesia.
- Hymen reconstruction – In this procedure, the surgeon will create a new hymen using tissues from the lip of the vagina. However, this method will require you to abstain from sexual intercourse for a minimum of three months.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Usually, women seek hymenoplasty for cultural and religious reasons. In most cases, the person would have lost her virginity in an intercourse and wants to restore it before her marriage. In some cases, the girl would have lost her hymen due to non-sexual activities, but yet again due to the religious or social norms, they find it imperative to repair the hymen.
The suitable candidates are –
- Those who have ruptured their hymen due to sex or other activities
- Those who are above 18 years of age
- Women who are healthy and don’t suffer from any serious illnesses
A gynecological exam is also necessary to determine if your hymen can be restored or not.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Women who suffer from any venereal diseases or have genital cancer are not eligible for this treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Some of the potential side-effects of hymenoplasty include –
- Post-op swelling, pain and bruising
- Hematomas and bleeding
- Discoloration of the hymen
However, these are minor side-effects and the medical team will make sure that it takes all the necessary precautions to avoid the issues and lessen the discomfort.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
The patient will be observed for a few hours in the recovery room after the treatment and if there are no complications, she will be relieved. The individual can resume work after 3 to 4 days. However, it is advised to begin moderate activities only after 10 days.
Some of the other guidelines include:
- You will need to keep the area clean and will be on antibiotics to prevent any infection.
- You should use warm compresses and ice-packs to ease pain and swelling.
- You can take a bath 2 – 3 days after the surgery.
- You need to refrain from sex till 8 weeks after the surgery.
How long does it take to recover?
It takes around 4 to 6 weeks for complete healing.