The term "hymen" comes from the Greek "humen" which means "membrane". It is a symbol of virginity, especially in certain cultures. In general, it is torn when having sexual intercourse for the first time or when playing certain sports.
In some cases women may resort to cosmetic surgery to restore their virginity before marriage, to reconstruct it after a rape or even within the context of certain family traditions.
The hymen: what is it?
The hymen is a membrane that partially closes the vaginal orifice. It is about 1 cm from the vaginal opening. It is naturally perforated to allow the menstruation flow and leucorrhoea and is considered by some cultures as a guarantee of virginity. However, the hymen is not present in all women.
In most cases, it tears during first time sexual intercourse however, even without sexual intercourse, the hymen can still relax or tear when playing sport or when using hygenic tampons, without the girl necessarily realizing.
The hymen may be different from one woman to another. It can have a different shape, elasticity or opening. In this way, it can:
- Have a single opening in the centre
- Have several small holes
- Be divided by two slits
- Totally or partially obstruct the vagina
- Be very elastic and expand without tearing
Thus, the shape, elasticity and type of opening can affect any pain felt when tearing the hymen even though in most cases, this pain is due to lack of lubrication during penetration.
In general, when the hymen tears, bleeding can occur however, this bleeding depends on the vascularization of the hymen which may be more important to some women than to others.
Issues concerning the hymen
Some women may have to resort to hymen reconstruction as part of certain family traditions. Some women may wish to rebuild the hymen to give the impression that it was never torn especially when discussion is not, or no longer, possible,
However, in many cases, hymen reconstruction is carried out to rebuild the woman's sense of self after a rape. Some women consider that hymen reconstruction is a must in order to regain a normal emotional and sexual life and also to rediscover their psychological well-being.
However, the most frequent cases for hymen reconstruction are above all for women living under the weight of tradition who wish to regain their virginity in order to "preserve their honour" and that of their family.
The hymen: how to reconstruct it?
In most cases, cosmetic surgery provides natural results.
It also allows women who have undergone hymenoplasty to regain their psychological well-being, especially for victims of sexual assault.
When a woman undergoes hymenoplasty, it is nevertheless necessary that she is treated by professionals, whatever the reasons for her carrying out this procedure.