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Hymen reconstruction surgery (Hymenoplasty)

What is the Hymen reconstruction surgery (Hymenoplasty)?

Hymen reconstruction surgery (hymenoplasty or hymenorrhaphy) is the surgical restoration of the hymen.

The hymen is normally broken during the female's first sexual intercourse, after which it tears, causing slight bleeding. The hymen can, however be broken from other causes, such as horseback riding, gymnastics, cycling, or even the use of a tampon.

In many cultures the hymen is considered a token of virginity and for cultural and religious reasons can be an important factor in a woman’s life.

Although often performed for reasons of religious belief, hymenoplasty has also become very popular for women who simply wish to restore their virginity for the purpose of improving their sexual satisfaction, as restoring the hymen also results in a tightening of the vaginal walls.

What is the procedure?

The hymenoplasty operation usually takes about 0,5 - 1,5 hours, and is almost always treated as a day case, performed under local anesthesia.

The type of hymenoplasty procedure will depend on how much remaining tissue is available to the surgeon.

In a simple hymenoplasty the surgeon can piece together the remnants of hymen, pulling it together and closing the tear with dissolvable stitches so that it covers the vaginal entrance once more. The restored hymen is not very strong or designed to last long, and due to a lack of blood supply in the area may not heal properly.

Alternatively, tissue from the vaginal wall can be used to create a hymen across the vaginal opening if not enough fragments of the hymen exist.

If there is simply not enough tissue and your hymen cannot be restored, a biomaterial or hymen implant can be inserted instead to act as a hymen which will tear through on penetration. It is not easy to notice that this material is not a real hymen.

What kind of result can you expect?

If any of the original hymen membrane was still present before surgery, the patient can have a fully restored hymen. However, in most cases the original membrane is no longer present so the hymen is reconstructed using a hymen-like structure. Both surgical techniques can produce similar positive results for women looking to restore their virginity.

The restored hymen will function exactly as before it was broken, meaning intercourse may once again be painful.

Recovery period and recommendations

Hymen reconstruction surgery is a relatively simple operation, leaving the patient free to leave the hospital on the same day and return to work on the day following the surgery.

However, the full recovery from the surgery will take 6-8 weeks, and sexual activity must not take place until fully healed.

Possible side effects and complications

There is a risk of side effects from the anesthetic used, along with bleeding, poor wound healing, a poor cosmetic result and blood accumulation, although severe complications are very rare.

Strenuous physical activity following the surgery can result in a tear or break of the newly reconstructed hymen.

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