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What is a Hymenotomy?

A hymenotomy is a minor surgical procedure that involves removing part or all of a woman’s 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 comfort during intercourse, while others need it for health reasons.

Why a Hymenotomy is performed?

A woman requiring a hymenotomy usually has an imperforate, septate, or micro-perforate hymen. An imperforate hymen covers the entire vaginal opening and usually has no holes or perforations. Often this condition is not known until a woman begins to menstruate. If this condition is not corrected the menstrual blood can back up into the uterus and flow out of the fallopian tubes into the abdomen. A septate hymen typically has two small holes parallel to each other on either side of the vaginal opening. A micro-perforate hymen generally only has one or several very small holes. In all of these cases, a hymenotomy may be necessary to facilitate menstrual flow, make it possible to use a tampon, or to facilitate sexual intercourse. In some cases, young women with relatively normal hymens also require a hymenotomy because they may have a very thick or stiff hymen making sexual intercourse or tampon use very painful or impossible.

How is a Hymenotomy done?

Most hymenotomy procedures are done in a matter of hours. A women will be administered an anesthesia along with a local injection that will numb the vaginal opening. The doctor will then carefully cut away part or all of the webbing covering the vaginal opening, some women prefer part of the webbing to be left in place. This may be a matter of personal preference or for religious reasons. The wounds are then stitched with a fine absorbable suture. These sutures will dissolve on their own.

Post-operative details:

Women usually experience a fairly fast recovery period. You must keep the area as clean and as dry as possible. Mild cramping and pain is common and Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs can be taken for the uterine cramping. Topical lidocaine jelly is recommended for the vaginal orifice. The patient is instructed to apply the jelly sparingly to the area a few minutes prior to urinating and as needed for soreness. Baths are ok and, in fact, may provide some soothing comfort and help keep the area clean.

Patients and/or parents should call your doctor at Professional Brooklyn Gynecological Services if they experience severe cramping unrelieved by ibuprofen or develops a fever. Infections and inflammation are possible, but they’re relatively uncommon and usually very treatable.

Make sure to schedule a postoperative office visit 1-2 weeks after your procedure. So that the doctor can check the area for signs of inflammation or infection and make sure you are healing properly.

Hymenotomy February 17, 2015

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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.