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Posted 04/24/2023 by Amelia Grant

Hymenectomy: Why the Procedure Is Needed and What to Expect

Hymenectomy: Why the Procedure Is Needed and What to Expect

A hymenectomy is a simple surgical treatment that involves creating an opening in the hymen. It is frequently performed when the hymen is excessively thick, contains extra tissue, or is otherwise blocking menstrual flow (imperforated hymen). When there is only a little opening in the hymen (a microperforated hymen), surgery can be performed to relieve pain and discomfort.

Purpose of the procedure

The hymen is a membrane located around the vaginal opening. When it regularly forms, it is thin and can be easily "broken." Before someone receives their first period, an opening in the hymen must be formed for proper menstruation.

In most circumstances, the hymen opening will occur naturally as a result of one of several normal activities in a young person's life, like tampon use, masturbation, and vaginal intercourse. In some circumstances, high-intensity physical activities such as exercise or athletics may help to breach the hymen.

However, some people are born with a hymen that is difficult to break. If a woman's hymen is abnormally thickened or tough, the opening required for menstrual effluent to flow freely may not be formed.

The congenital disease causing an imperforate hymen is frequently identified at birth. However, the problem may not be visible until a person begins to menstruate.

A person suffering from a hymen problem may experience amenorrhea (no periods), painful urination, or inability to urinate, back pain and/or pelvic pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. If you are found to have one of these, hymenectomy surgery is usually required.

Risks and contraindications

Hymenectomy is a simple procedure, but all surgeries have risks. Your doctor will go over these risks with you before the surgery. If you have any questions or don't understand something, ask your healthcare provider to explain.

Your healthcare team must be aware of any current medications you are taking, including vitamins and supplements. If you have any other medical conditions, especially ones that affect how your blood clots, you may need to take extra precautions before surgery.


When you get to the hospital, you will be requested to change into a medical gown instead of your regular clothes. A nurse will insert an IV line into your arm so that you can be given fluids and medication during the surgery. 

Before the procedure, your healthcare practitioner, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist will come to do an examination, ask you some questions, or undertake other pre-operative procedures. If you have any concerns or inquiries, now is the time to talk them through.

During the Surgery

You will be sedated and anesthetized before the process begins, so you will not be awake or remember what happens. Then the surgeon and nurses will put you in a position that will allow them to do the surgery. They will sanitize the region and cover the majority of your body with sterile drapes. 

During a hymenectomy, the surgeon will use specific tools to cut the hymen membrane and create an opening. The size of the aperture required is determined by the thickness of the hymen.

Following the creation of the aperture, the surgeon will secure the incisions with thin stitches (sutures). As your body heals, the sutures will be naturally absorbed.


After your surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery area, where a nurse will monitor your vital signs. When you first wake up, you may feel teary, queasy, or bewildered. 

You will also need to use the restroom before being discharged. You will most likely be "numb" due to the local anesthetic you received before your surgery, but urinating may still be painful. It may be fairly painful in the first several days of healing.


Your physician will notify you when you can return to work and resume all of your routine activities. After a week or so, you should be feeling better. 

You may experience pain in a few days following surgery, but it normally responds to over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen. 

If you have a fever, rash, vaginal bleeding, or abnormal discharge, you may have an infection. If you have blood in your urine, are unable to urinate, have severe pain when passing urine, feel nauseous, become abruptly weak and disoriented, or faint, seek medical assistance immediately!


You are unlikely to notice a significant difference until you have fully recovered and are able to resume your normal activities, like intercourse, or are able to have a normal period.

People who become pregnant and give birth after having a hymenectomy may experience problems in some situations, so it's important to notify your doctor if you want to become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, inform your obstetric health care provider that you had a hymenectomy.

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