Hymenoplasty, or reconstruction of the hymen, is a cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedure which aims to reconstruct a hymen damaged during intercourse and, therefore, the virginity of the patient. There are no visible traces of the operation.
In what context is a hymenoplasty (reconstruction of the hymen) performed?
Requests for the procedure are frequent and the reasons for patients coming to see Doctor Masson are often the same. The reasons could be :
- a patient who suffered a sexual assault, and repairing the hymen is part of the reconstruction process and a way to erase the trauma.
- a patient dealing with the emotional aftermath of a relationship with a man she assumed was her future partner, and she now wishes to regain her former physical state in order to forget and turn the page.
- a patient from a traditionalist family in which sexual relations before marriage are banned and the custom of nuptial sheets marked with blood after the wedding night still exists. The sign of an intact hymen is therefore a sign of a preserved virginity. The virginity was therefore lost before the encounter with the future husband and the marriage. The process is often carried out at the last minute before the wedding and can be experienced as shameful by the patient, but it is often the only way for her to preserve this custom.
Reconstructing the hymen is most often performed for religious reasons before marriage. The hymen is a small membrane that closes part of the entrance to the vagina and signals virginity. It is broken the first time that sexual intercourse occurs (also sometimes by certain sports). As it tears during intercourse there can be some pain and, in the majority of cases, bleeding.
If reconstruction is indicated, it is performed under local anesthesia and lasts approximately 20 minutes. Sutures are put in place to close the hymen or a flap of mucosa is created to make up the hymen. Ideally, you should wait a minimum of 3 weeks before having intercourse to be sure that the threads are absorbed, that you can no longer feel them, and that the hymen is very solid. The operation is not particularly painful afterwards. You just have to avoid baths, swimming pools, physical sports, strong vibrations and touching the interior of the vagina. In most cases, sexual intercourse will be quite normal just like the first time, with resistance during penetration, and the feeling of rupture of the hymen and bleeding occurring in 95% of cases. This bleeding is not present in 100% of cases (with or without reconstruction) because some people do not bleed very much.
How is a hymenoplasty or hymen reconstruction operation performed?
The first step is to consult a plastic surgeon who will explain the procedure and prices to you. The operation is not covered by the social security system.
Everything that will be discussed during the consultation is subject to medical confidentiality. No one can consult your file or access any information regarding the consultation except you.
The operation itself consists in suturing the hymen and closing it from the remains that are left. The hymen remains are sometimes insufficient to allow reconstruction of the hymen and another technique is then possible. The repair is solid and lasts over time.
The threads are very thin, almost invisible and are absorbable (they fall out by themselves after about 15 days). There is no visible scar. The operation is very quick (around 30 minutes), and no hospitalization is necessary (you arrive in the morning and leave in the evening). The anesthesia is either local (you receive an injection of an anesthetic and you remain awake), or general (you go to sleep) but very short and light.
You will be given a hymenoplasty information sheet and a quote. A second consultation is compulsory with the surgeon for all intimate cosmetic surgery. An operation date can then be programmed. By law, there has to be a minimum 15 days reflection period between the first consultation and the reconstruction of the hymen.
What happens after the operation?
No one can have access to your medical file except you. Pain is limited and lasts a few days, walking is possible. There is no need for a dressing and a simple protection strip in the underwear is enough. An analgesic equivalent to paracetamol is sufficient to calm the pain in the majority of cases. You will need to rest for 2 to 3 days after the operation, wait 15 days to 3 weeks before playing sports or swimming again and 3 weeks before having sex (which is the duration of the healing process).
The reconstructed hymen is similar to a virgin hymen and will normally bleed during intercourse.
Can there be any complications?
If you are young and healthy, complications are very rare. As with all operations, you may experience more severe bleeding or pain than normal, and temporary sensitivity problems. To avoid problems with scarring of the hymen, it is important to stop smoking a month before the hymen is rebuilt.
What is the price of a hymenoplasty operation?
The price depends on the technique used and will be indicated to you by Doctor Masson during consultation. The price starts from 1800 euros.
Summary of an operation to reconstruct the hymen
Before the hymenoplasty:
- two consultations with the plastic surgeon
- a consultation with the anesthesiologist if general anesthesia is chosen
- 15 days minimum between the first consultation and the operation
- Absolute medical confidentiality (no disclosure of your file)
- No hospitalization necessary (entry in the morning, exit in the evening)
- Local or general anesthesia
- No aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs to be taken before the operation. Smoking is to be avoided.
- Duration of the operation: 30 minutes
- No visible scar
After the hymenoplasty:
- Rest 2 to 3 days
- No dressing to do but good hygiene after going to the toilet is important
- Underwear protection in case of light bleeding
- No sutures to remove
- Moderate pain for a few days, relieved by paracetamol
- Walking is possible
- No sport for 2 to 3 weeks
- Wait 3 weeks to have sex