What is a Hymenectomy?

Hymen is a frequently misunderstood part of female anatomy and is surrounded by a variety of myths and misconceptions.

The most common myth around the hymen is that it remains “intact” until it’s broken during sexual intercourse, which makes it a physical marker of virginity. Though there are many instances where women do experience a small amount of bleeding from hymenal tearing at first intercourse, this is by no means a universal experience, as there are many women who have very little tissue there in the first place. 

Some women’s hymen is a membrane covering the vaginal opening. That situation is rare, and it can interfere with sex and menstruation, but it can be removed surgically by performing a procedure called hymenectomy.

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.

Depending on the condition, your Viva Eve NYC Ob/Gyn may perform a septate hymen surgery, a microperforate hymenectomy, or a partial hymenectomy procedure. Risks, including bleeding after hymenectomy procedures, are minimal.

How do you prepare for a Hymenectomy?

Your Viva Eve healthcare provider will provide specific instructions to follow before the hymenectomy surgery. These instructions may include:

  • Fasting: you may be required to avoid eating or drinking for a specific period before the procedure, typically starting at midnight the night before.
  • Medications: your healthcare provider will let you know whether you can continue or should temporarily stop any medications before the surgery.
  • Plan to have a chaperone who will escort you home after the procedure because you might still be feeling the effects of anesthesia

Why is a Hymenectomy performed?

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.

Hymenectomy is performed to correct the following hymen abnormalities and create a normal-sized vaginal opening.

Imperforate Hymen

An imperforate hymen is a thin membrane that completely covers the opening to the vagina preventing menstrual blood from flowing out. 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 young women or girls may also have pain with bowel movements and trouble passing urine. An imperforate hymen can sometimes be diagnosed in a newborn. More often, the diagnosis is made when the girl becomes an adolescent.

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.

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.

What can you expect during a Hymenectomy?

The surgery is a simple outpatient procedure usually performed by a NYC Ob/Gyn at the Viva Eve’s surgical suite equipped with the latest technology. The hymen is opened with scissors or a scalpel, and the tissue is cut away. To close the incisions, the gynecologist will use the sutures that will dissolve on their own.

Most Common Reasons for Hymenectomy Procedure.


Decreased comfort or pain experienced during sexual intercourse.

Pain During Sex

Abnormal Bleeding

Absence of normal menstruation

Abnormal Bleeding

Abdominal Pain

Severe abdominal pain during your periods

Abdominal Pain

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

The Hymenectomy Procedure

The surgery is a simple outpatient procedure usually performed by a NYC Ob/Gyn at the Viva Eve’s surgical suite equipped with the latest technology right. The hymen is opened with scissors or a scalpel, and the tissue is cut away. To close the incisions, the gynecologist will use the sutures that will dissolve on their own.

What is the followup and recovery like for a Hymenectomy?

The following instructions should be followed after having a NYC hymenectomy procedure:

  • Applying a prescription-strength topical cream or ointment to keep stitches soft and clean, or to help with any discomfort
  • Using an ice pack to help prevent swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription pain medicine to alleviate any discomfort (aspirin should be avoided, as it can cause bleeding)
  • Not having intercourse or using tampons until full recovery is achieved, usually in about six weeks
  • Taking a warm sitz bath (a warm shallow bath) after several days, two or three times a day, as needed to help the stitches dissolve
  • Not lifting anything over five pounds until cleared by the doctor

What are the potential costs for a Hymenectomy?

The costs will depend on the surgeon fees, anesthesiologist fees, the facility, your geographical location and any pre-op/post-op testing/office visits.

If done in an outpatient center, the costs will be a lot less compared to being done in a hospital.  As long as the procedure is deemed medically necessary, it will be fully or partially covered after the deductible and copays by the patient’s health insurance. 

What are the potential risks for a Hymenectomy?

Complications after hymenectomy are extremely rare. Patients are advised to seek medical attention right away if:

  • They are running a fever of 102 degrees.
  • There is abnormal, greenish vaginal discharge. A small amount of yellowish, brownish, or reddish is normal, as there may be some slight bleeding after a hymenectomy.
  • The patient experiences severe cramping, develops a rash, or feels faint.
  • There is bloody urination or excessive bleeding after the hymenectomy.

Are there related procedures to a Hymenectomy?

There are other surgical procedures involving the hymen such as a hymenoplasty, also known as hymenorrhaphy or hymen reconstruction surgery, is a surgical procedure that aims to repair or reconstruct the hymen. It is often performed for cultural, religious, or personal reasons. 

Another related procedure is hymenotomy. Hymenotomy is a surgical procedure that involves making an incision in the hymen. It is typically performed to enlarge the opening of the hymen, allowing for more comfortable sexual intercourse or to address medical conditions such as imperforate hymen.

What Are The Most Common Hymen Myths?

We tried to answer the most common questions about a hymen and all the myths associated with it.

A hymen is not an intact piece of tissue draped across a vaginal opening. 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.

For all its fabled mystery, the hymen is just a body part and yes, it is quite common for a woman to either have only a fringe of tissue or none at all. Hymens come in many shapes and forms and can be an anatomical variant unique to the person.

The hymen has very thin tissue, with barely any blood supply, and tearing it is unlikely to trigger a bleed.

Talk to a specialist to see if a Hymenectomy Procedure is right for you.

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