12:50 am - 12/29/2006

Hymen Problems, Considering Hymenectomy

Hey everyone,

I'm 20 years old and have been using vaginal dilators for about 3 years to stretch my hymen (it's a pretty slow process). I've never been able to have sex or a pap smear, but I have been able to work my way up to tampons. I've gotten to the point where continuing with my dilators has become too painful, but I would really like to settle the issue for the sake of my health and sex life.

My question is this: has anyone ever had a hymenectomy or hymenotomy to treat a stubborn or imperforate hymen? If so, what was your experience? My previous OB/GYN didn't recommend the procedure, saying that it could create some nasty scar tissue, but I've recently been considering it. It sounds like a simple enough procedure, but I'm trying to get all the information I can.

Sorry if I'm rambling or if this question has been posed before and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
jenmarie 29th-Dec-2006 06:11 am (UTC)
Yes!! I had a hymenectomy at age 13. I had a very thick hymen that wasn't just the typical ring, but had a bar of flesh across the middle that was thickening (would have eventually closed off all menstrual flow). I also had labial adhesions that I had treated with Premarin cream from about age 5 until my surgery, when my GYN at the time cut them down fully to my perenium.

It was a simple day surgery and I had some minor discomfort afterwards. When I had sex for the first time at age 16, I had no discomfort or pain.
When I had my daughter vaginally at age 30, I had only very minor tearing that healed without a problem.

I like to joke (tacky, but true!) that my GYN popped my cherry! ;)
quiltingdragon 29th-Dec-2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
Same scenario here, although I was 20 when they finally figured out what was wrong when I went to a new gyno. Day procedure, minor discomfort. My gyn told me if I'd tried to have sex and persisted through pain, I'd have ripped myself in two, and I probably would have needed stitching back together. My periods are much better after, too.
nicola_123 27th-Dec-2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
i am 13 years old and i think i have the same problem, i was just wondering where you got it done and how much did it cost you,
cheshirepurr 27th-Dec-2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
My insurance took care of most of it, so I honestly don't remember :( Sorry.
jenmarie 28th-Dec-2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Wish I had that info, but even if I did, it would be sorely outdated. I'm 37 now, so it was 24 years ago for me. I had it done in Denver, CO, but I have no idea what the cost was at that time.
rainorshine123 Private clinic for hymenectomy21st-Sep-2011 11:46 pm (UTC)

Dr Yolande Charles is a wonderful gynecologist. The consultation costed around 300 $ (125 $ for the first 15 minutes + 8$ / additional minute ( my consult lasted 29 minutes) and the procedure (hymenectomy) costed close to 800 $. Medical insurance doesn't cover it, but if this is your situation, it`s best that you consult her and get it over with so that you can move forward with your life and not have to worry any longer. I had nonsense told to me by so many doctors for so many years... I was even led to believe that it was all in my head !!! When clearly I needed a chirgical intervention. Good luck.

Clinique Médicale Avenir MD
1575, boul. de l'Avenir, Suite 220
Laval (Québec) H7S 2N5

Tel : (450) 696-1025
Fax : (450) 696-1019
asunlitrose 29th-Dec-2006 06:13 am (UTC)
While I haven't had the procedure done myself, I've read of accounts of women who have, and who were very satisfied with it. It's a fairly simple and quick procedure that is usually performed in your doctor's office, with local anesthesia. I've never heard of the scar tissue issue, but I am admittedly no expert.

If it were me, and I'd been working for three years without the full desired results I'd been hoping for, I would have it done. As you say, getting the issue settled and over with will allow you to move on with your life and you'll be able to stop worrying about it. I hope you receive more personal experience responses, and get the advice you need. Good luck!
quiltingdragon 29th-Dec-2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
It is NEVER done in the doctors office for a hymenotomy. I was under full anesthesia for about 2 hours at the hospital. I slept through it, so didn't realize most of the pain wasn't the surgery, but being hung over the table so he had a clear view.
jenmarie 29th-Dec-2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
I was fully anesthetized for mine too. I wasn't sure if that was standard procedure or if it was because I was having the labial adhesions taken care of at the same time, or because I was younger, or both.

I remember waking up kind of sucked... nauseous and disoriented and such. But that's been the case every time I've been put fully under. blech.

I'm very glad I had the procedure done, though, and well before it could impact any aspects of my adult life.
asunlitrose 29th-Dec-2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I'm not sure where I got the impression of it being performed in the doctor's office considering I could only find one source that stated "The procedure can be done as an office procedure under local anesthesia; however, as most young women are understandably anxious about the procedure, I have found it best to perform the procedure under conscious sedation in an ambulatory surgery hospital."

So I assume that doing it in the doctor's office is extremely rare, and definitely not the norm. Sorry about that!
quiltingdragon 29th-Dec-2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
anxious, yeah. But most of it is due to monitoring. You have to be hung from the operating room ceiling with your legs spread, and most doctor's offices don't have the ability to do this. Plus, recovery after takes a little while, as all the muscles are asleep from being hung like that for so long,which is where most of the discomfort comes from as all your internal organs are getting pressure in odd places and the muscles are being pulled in ways they normally aren't. I was in the recovery room for about an hour, with a special tingly blanket. I don't know what the technical name is, but it puts small electric charges into your leg muscles to wake them up. I still had to spend part of the day in a wheelchair as my legs didn't want to work right.

I had mine at Missouri Baptist Hospital, in the day surgery wing. If they decided I needed observation, since I was in the big hospital I could be moved to the maternity wing, since they have gynocologists on full time staff up there. As my mom is a nurse and could look after me, they let me go home on the promise I'd stay in bed.

Oh, and a word to the OP. Get a pair of comfy pj's, some loose (think extra size if you like them small) cotton panties, and a heating pad with a low setting/hot water bottle. They will give you something for pain. Try to time it before you need to use the bathroom, as all the parts down there are close, the first time will shoot you through the ceiling if you aren't careful...i'm told since the same muscles are dialated/cut on, it feels a lot like after childbirth.
slash_trash 29th-Dec-2006 08:56 am (UTC)
My GYN advised me to have it done and said it was a simple procedure and I shouldn't be concerned at all (and she was a woman). I wound up not needing it after all, but I've never heard from anyone that it was risky or caused scarring. I don't see why having your hymen neatly nipped apart surgically would be any more traumatic than having it torn by blunt force by a penis during sex, and that happens every day without nasty scar tissue. Seems like a safer and less painful option to me, really. *shrug*

kallebopak 17th-Jul-2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
My scar is not very red, but I don’t know what normal is b/c I’ve never had surgery before. Lisalou Says: March 7, at pm Hi Maggs I just did some research on the Cica Plast cream and I actually ordered it from a Canadian Pharmacy.
xdreamsofdramax 29th-Dec-2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
I haven't had it done but I know people who have and who have had no problems with it. If you have been trying other methods and it hasn't worked as well as you want, I would probably get it if I were you. It doesn't mean you have to, but I would think that if you know other methods are not going to work for you, this is probably your best bet.
sarah_mae13 31st-Dec-2006 08:42 am (UTC)
I had a hymenotomy when I was 20, a year after I was told about the problem.

It was a very simple out-patient procedure. I was given general anesthesia and it was done in a hospital by my gyno. I haven't had any problems with scarring or anything like that. I only wish I had gotten it done ASAP instead of waiting a year.
brigids_eyes 2nd-Jan-2007 01:05 am (UTC)
Hey, yes i did! I had the shock of my life when i discovered that sex just wasn't happening, there seemed a barrier. I was 16 at the time and my bf thought i was making excuses, looking back im glad i didnt have sex with him! It took me 2 months on the NHS to sort the problem out, they did a hymenectomy as i had a microperforate hymen. They put me to sleep and i went home that day. It did not leave any scar tissue that im aware of, i was sore for a few days though. I know it's embarrsing but demand you get one! its fine!
hope it goes well
minervasolo 17th-Mar-2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I know you posted this over a year ago, but I was wondering how you went about getting this done via the NHS. Did you go to your GP first, or a nurse, and then work your way up, or did you see a gynaecologist immediately?
xlucyintheskyx 25th-Apr-2008 06:03 am (UTC)
Hey...I know you posted this like a year ago, but I just had a hymenectomy when I realized sex just wasn't working for me either...much too painful to even try anymore. So I had the surgery a little over a month ago and my boyfriend and I just had sex for the first time since the surgery...and it felt the same as before! So painful....I don't know what to do. How was sex for you after the surgery...did it hurt you at all, did the pain go away, do you still feel pain? I feel as though I am sexually ruined at age 18. Blah.
cheshirepurr 25th-Apr-2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I actually still haven't had sex yet, but I can tell I'm still very tight. I'm working with vaginal dilators again to try and "loosen" up a bit.
xlucyintheskyx 25th-Apr-2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
My gyno recommended dialators...are they very painful/expensive? And do you think they're helping or do they not seem to work?
cheshirepurr 25th-Apr-2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
They're not very painful if you take it slow with plenty of lube. Mine were about $150, but were partially covered by insurance. They've worked a little, but I'm bad about using them regularly. I'd probably see better results if I used the more frequently.
Sathana Sathyamoorthi Considering the surgery to improve my sex life26th-Sep-2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
Were your able to finally have success in penetrative sex? I am considering this surgery for that reason and your input would be greatly appreciated and help me take a decision on whether to go for the surgery. I am married for two years now and have not had penetrative sex.
lolitalust 4th-Jan-2007 02:12 am (UTC)
I just wanted to say that your icon is possibly the cutest icon ever. Dinah!
mmmarmalade help?29th-Jan-2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
Are vaginal dilators something that can only be obtained through a GYN?
I've had lifelong problems with pain, and I have medical problems that would probably disallow the possibility of ever being put under anesthesia for any length of time. I think I kind of gave up a long time ago on the possibility of ever having a "normal" sex life, and this mey offer some hope. Any suggestions?
cheshirepurr Re: help?30th-Jan-2007 12:03 am (UTC)
I got mine through my OB/GYN, but I'm pretty sure you can get them online. I believe vaginismus.com may have some available. If you're really concerned, you should talk to your doctor. After all, it's his or her job to deal with things like this.

Sorry if I can't offer any more info, you might also want to post your question in the VP main journal.
frigid_pink 26th-Feb-2009 07:45 am (UTC)
Did you ever have the surgery?
I'm asking because I'm considering it myself.
I'm not sure it's in my best interest to go without a pap smear my entire life.
I really don't want the surgery, though.
I'm happy without sexual intercourse and I get along just fine using pads.
I guess I just want to know how your experience turned out.
cheshirepurr 26th-Feb-2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
I did have the surgery and it was fantastic. The whole procedure only took a few hours. I was under general anesthesia while they cut and sutured the area and woke up a bit drunk, but otherwise happy. It took a month or so to fully heal so I was told no sex or tampons until I came for a follow-up exam. 2 years later and I still haven't had sex, but have been able to have pelvic exams which takes a load off my mind.
frigid_pink 27th-Feb-2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your experience with me! I'm sure it will be helpful as I decide what to do.
nicola_123 27th-Dec-2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
hey i was wondering where you got it done and how much does it cost i am 13 years old. thanks :)
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