My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience
Hello. I had a hymenectomy today and wanted to write a little about my experience. I'm writing it down because it was extremely difficult for me to find useful information before my surgery. Hopefully, explaining my experience will help others in the future.
I'm a 32 year old woman. Prior to getting married in 2006, I had not had penetrative sexual intercourse with anyone. After I got married, my husband and I (of course) were eager to start having sex but soon found that we were not able to get him inside of me no matter how hard we tried, no matter how slowly we took it, and no matter how much lubricant we used.
I have been a regular user of tampons without any problem and have always been able to get about two fingers inside of myself. That is to say, I did not have a microperforate hymen, a septate hymen, or a cribiform hymen. My hymenal opening was just too darned small.
So, I consulted my primary care doctor who referred me to a gynecologist. Upon her first examination, my gynecologist immediately said, "Well, I think I see the problem" and explained to me that my hymenal opening was small. She told me that I could either use dilators to try to widen the opening or that I could have a hymenectomy, wherein she would surgically open up my hymenal opening. After 3 years of marriage without sexual intercourse with a husband I am totally happy with, I chose to have the surgery. My gynecologist told me that this type of surgery is actually not as uncommon as people think it is.
I was asked to arrive at the hospital today 2 hours before the scheduled time of my surgery. I was instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. Once at the hospital, I was given an EKG, my vitals were measured, and I had to wear some electrical compression socks around my lower legs to help with circulation and to prevent blood clots. The socks stayed on until I was in the recovery room after surgery. Shortly before being taken to the "holding area" (the place you go immediately before surgery), I was given a Pepcid tablet to swallow in order to prevent heartburn. A nurse also inserted an IV in my hand in order to first give me fluids and then, a drug to slow down my GI system. That was meant to minimize the likelihood that I would feel nauseated after being anesthetized.
Although I had originally been told that the surgery would be performed while I was "consciously sedated" (otherwise known as "twilight sleep"), the anesthesiologist actually decided to put me completely under. While I was in the holding area, he came and told me that he was going to start by putting some "liquid courage" into my IV and that he'd finish anesthetizing me the rest of the way once we were in the OR.
I remember being wheeled into the OR. I *think* that I remember being given some oxygen via a face mask... and then, the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. The entire surgery from start to waking up took about an hour. When I woke up, I had some pain but it was nothing overwhelming or excruciating. I did have some bleeding, however. Fortunately, going to the bathroom was not painful. I had been worried beforehand that it would be.
There is at least one story somewhere on the Internet where a girl who got a hymenectomy was hung upside down from the ceiling. For the record, I was not. As far as I know, I stayed lying down on the hospital gurney for the entire surgery.
So, we went to the hospital at 10:30am today and I was back home by 3:30pm. My pain is being managed with ibuprofen and I'm feeling pretty well. Six incisions were made in my hymenal tissue in order to widen the vaginal opening. My gynecologist gave me some estrogen cream to prevent scarring, which I am supposed to start using tomorrow. I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks with the gynecologist and after that, I should be able to try having sex again with my husband.
I hope that this information is helpful to someone in the future. I will update in a few days re: my recovery.