Since a torn hymen is associated with the loss of virginity in many cultures, women who worry about the taboo often consider undergoing a hymen reconstruction surgery. But can hymenorrhaphy, also known as the surgery that can ‘restore virginity’, deliver what it promises?
Although the hymen maybe stitched back, the surgery doesn’t guarantee that a woman will bleed the next time she has intercourse. The whole concept that if a woman has not had penovaginal intercourse will bleed during the first time is flawed in the first place.
Roughly half of the world’s women don’t bleed during their first time. It is a misconception that only women with intact hymens are virgins and those with ruptured ones are not. That’s not always the case. The hymen may break due to a variety of reasons apart from sex – exercise, injury, and even tampons. So it seems absurd that so much fuss is made about hymens when they, even when completely intact, are really no markers of virginity!
Surely, ‘virginity 2.0’ is the most common reason why women want to and actually do undergo this surgery! However, there are other purposes that the surgery can serve. Hymenorrhaphy is merely a surgical procedure done to repair a hymen by stitching it back together. It is a plastic surgery that can be done purely for cosmetic purposes.
The surgery doesn’t have any proven benefit to the body. Just like the appendix, a ruptured hymen is of little consequence to a woman’s health.
A hymen reconstruction is not the only way to bleed again. There are pills that help with the bleeding too. But come to think of it, it sounds problematic to pop pills in order to bleed, right? This may tell us something very important – perhaps, the best alternative to the surgery is opening up your mind to scientific facts! Realising firstly, that there is nothing sacred about virginity. That it does not add to or take anything away from a happy and healthy sex life, finally acknowledging a woman’s right to decide what she does with and to her body.
Most side effects of the procedure like possible infections, pain and soreness are usually short-lived. But in rare cases, long-term complications like the narrowing of the vaginal hole may follow making future intercourses difficult or nearly impossible.
Hymen reconstruction surgeries are outlawed in many parts of the world. While they’re legal in India, they’re banned in many countries of the Middle East and the Gulf. Ironically, a woman bleeding during her first time is considered to be important in these cultures more than in others. Legality aside, not everyone agrees that is morally right, either.