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.
In cases of an imperforate, septate, or micro-perforate hymen, 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. The patient 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.
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 pain killers 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 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.