I had a hymenectomy a week ago and I wanted to share a few pieces of information that I had trouble tracking down myself beforehand.
Note: I had an opening, but two hymenal bands prevented me from getting anything larger than a Q-tip in there--which initially was very painful to do! My procedure was less invasive than some but it is more or less the same protocol for any hymenectomy (unless you choose sedation).
- You do not have to be shaved for the procedure.
- It was not painful at all with local anesthetic (though I'm sure that will vary a bit for everyone)
- You do not necessarily need stitches; it depends whether and how much the tissue bleeds when cut. I only had two dissolvable stitches and my doctor was debating about whether they were necessary.
- It was not very painful afterwards. I noticed some discomfort with movement here and there, but it was a low level of discomfort. I touched the area and tried inserting my finger 2 days afterwards to see how I was doing and I noticed a bit of discomfort but nothing major. I even had sex 3 days after my procedure and hardly noticed discomfort around the opening. (again, though, I'm sure that level of discomfort will vary person to person)
- I bled some after the procedure and after sex, but it was minimal. It is a good idea to have pads on hand but in my experience it wasn't dire. I'm also not sure how much of the post-sex bleeding was from the incision and how much was from irritation in general because it was my first time.
- I think also my level of comfort was increased because I tried to stretch my hymen before the procedure (was kinda hoping I could get out of doing the procedure if I stretched enough). That made me familiar with what I could and couldn't handle and also the discomfort I felt when inserting Q-tips, fingers, etc. decreased gradually as I 'practiced.' Although I did not successfully avoid the hymenectomy with this method, I think it was a useful thing to do because it also helped to stretch my vagina (beyond the hymen) and made me more familiar with this part of my body.
Please note: It is recommended that you abstain from sex and do not use tampons for 1-2 weeks after the procedure. This has more to do with risk of infection than with pain, but in terms of comfort level... It can be done!