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My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience

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Old 11-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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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.


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Old 11-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience

I was a virgin when I married and husband also had a hard time, I went to OBGYN after 3 months of him not being able to "get it in", OBGYN was ready to schedule me for a Hymenectomy but did a pregnancy test 1st, found out the next day I was pregnant-so no surgery, and it took another 5 months (into pregnancy) before Husband could fully get in -so 8 months after marraige. But wow, 3 years. I have never heard of anyone since who got this procedure, thanks for sharing.

Old 12-08-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience

To Wolverine, how did the rest of your recovery go? My daughter is 15 and just found out she has a microperforate hymen and will have to have it corrected. She is a competition swimmer and must be able to use a tampon to continue her sport. Terrible timing just before race season. Any advice on timelines for recovery would be so helpful. It is very difficult to find consistent info about this topic. I was so surprised at her gyn appt that I didn't ask the questions I should have asked. Although I didn't want to freak out my 15 year old either. I appreciate all the posts on this site -- Thanks.

Old 12-20-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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Re: My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience


I hope that this information isn't coming to you too late. My recovery went very well. I was given Vicodin for the pain and never needed to use it. I was also given high dose Ibuprofin, which I did need, but it was adequate to control the pain and swelling.

I had swelling and some pain for at least two weeks. Despite this, I was back to work the day after surgery (I do have a "desk job," however). Urinating was delicate for at least 5 days. Of course, urine doesn't come out of the vagina but everything "down there" was pretty tender. Having a full bladder was also uncomfortable which I could never really fully understand. I suppose that any pressure on tissue that's been traumatized would be painful.

Some stitches sort of fell out within the first few days... most of the rest gradually dissolved over time. I still have one stitch that hasn't yet dissolved as of today. I don't have any pain or swelling at this point and haven't for at least a week or so. Additionally, I used the estrogen cream religiously during the 2 1/2 weeks after my surgery which helps prevent scarring and "things sticking together" which would nullify the purpose of the surgical procedure.

At any rate, in the case of a microperforate hymen, this procedure will be invaluable to your daughter despite the disruption it will cause with her sports. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to respond in a more timely fashion.

Old 02-19-2010, 06:58 AM   #5
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Re: My hymenotomy/hymenectomy experience

I had a hymenectomy 7 years ago. I am very glad I had the hymenectomy but my pain didn't completely diminish until after a pregnancy and a vaginal delivery. I had a hymen that would never completely separate. I was a virgin when I married and every time my husband and I would have sex it would be very painful, he would hurry as much as he could and our frequency was very infrequent due to the pain. A year later I had a hymenctomy and after healing from the hymenectomy my pain was much, much less but not completely gone. Because of this I inserted lidocain vaginally at least 10-15 minutes prior to intercourse which elleviated all the pain or discomfort I was feeling and I was able to enjoy the experience more. Following my first pregnancy and vaginal delivery I was able to eventually go completely off the lidocain and now only have mild pain every so often (which is typical for most women). I hope this helps someone who is experiencing similar things.

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