Hymenal Variations/Inperforate Hymen

The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the opening of the vagina. Typically the hymen is crescent-shaped, but many variations are possible. Hymenal variations can include a wide range of malformations, including banded hymen tissue or sections of very rigid tissue. Imperforate hymen, which is a total blockage of the vagina, is the most severe case.

With imperforate hymen, the diagnosis can be made at birth or during childhood by a pediatrician, or at the start of menstruation. Until an imperforate hymen is corrected, menstrual fluids will be blocked and cannot leave the vagina. Surgery typically is needed to remove the extra tissue and create an opening to the vagina. Special attention is giving to avoiding scar tissue and retaining a normal genital appearance.

North Shore-LIJ gynecologists are experienced in the diagnosis and surgical repair of hymenal variations. For more information on hymenal variations and imperforate hymen, or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York at 516-390-9258.  For an emergency call 911 or go to the Cohen Children's Medical Center Emergency Room.

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