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How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen

 
By Max. D Gray. Updated: May 31, 2018
How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen

The hymen is a membrane that is at the entrance of the vagina and has holes through which vaginal secretions and menstrual flow leave the body. However, it may happen that these holes are nor present and as a result the vaginal opening is completely covered by the hymen, making a normal secretion and flow impossible. This condition is known as imperforate hymen and it is an obstruction of the vagina that is present from the moment of birth and with a cause unknown. Once diagnosed it will be necessary to undergo minor surgery to fix the problem. Keep reading this OneHowTo article in which we explain how to know if you have imperforate hymen and how it must be treated.

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Signs and symptoms of imperforate hymen

An imperforate hymen does not usually cause symptoms until puberty, when menstrual periods start. It is at that precise moment when the girl who has this condition will suffer what is known as a primary amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstruation despite its development. This occurs because blood flow can not exit the body because the hymen does not have any holes and blocks across the opening of the vagina. The absence of menstruation should be an urgent reason for gynaecological consultation, it will be the only way to get a safe and accurate medical diagnosis and to start a treatment or procedure suitable for each case.

The symptoms of imperforate hymen can be manifest when the flow of menstruation does not leave the body and is accumulated in the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes. This situation can lead to symptoms such as those we detail next:

  • Pain in the lower part of the abdomen, which can be of a cyclical nature.
  • Feeling of fullness or presence of mass in the lower area of the abdomen.
  • Stomach pains.
  • Back pain.
  • Urinary retention (occasional symptom).
  • Constipation (occasional symptom).
How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen - Signs and symptoms of imperforate hymen

Diagnosis of imperforate hymen

Generally, the imperforate hymen is diagnosed at birth, when the doctor observing the genital tract of the newborn sees that the hymen covers the vaginal opening in its entirety and there is no hole.

In the event that it is diagnosed in puberty, following the patient seeing a specialist due to amenorrhea or other symptoms that we have described in the previous section, the doctor will perform a physical and thorough scan of the pelvis and genital area and may also request some tests such as an ultrasound amongst other tests to make sure that it is imperforate Hymen and not another health problem. With the help of these tests an estimate of the amount and volume of blood flow accumulated will be possible, this will be decisive for the subsequent treatment and the evolution of the patient.

Treatment of imperforate hymen

The treatment of imperforate hymen consists of a simple surgical intervention through which openings on the hymen are made to extract the surplus membrane and allow the output of the menstrual flow and vaginal secretions. It is important to note that when this condition is diagnosed at birth the procedure will have to wait until the girl has grown and has started puberty; normally, it takes place when the breasts are developing, she presents a bit of pubic hair but still has not come to menstruation. This can be around 8 or 9 years old.

Surgical intervention usually does not lead to further complications because the potential damage to other internal organs is practically zero as the operation is carried out in the most external surface of the female genital area. Likewise, the risk of infection or bleeding is minimal and where problems of this nature do arise these are very easy to treat and solve.

Furthermore, it is worth clarifying that having to undergo this type of surgery does not mean fertility problems nor does it reduce chances of having children in the future because it almost never affects the organs involved in fertilization and gestation. However, diagnosis and early treatment is necessary as if it is detected very late or is left untreated it can increase the chance of conditions as endometriosis, Vaginal adenosis or hemoperitoneum.

How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen - Treatment of imperforate hymen

Care and precautions after surgery

After surgery, it is very important to consider a number of measures and care to ensure the welfare of the patient and allow the wound to heal as soon as possible. Thus, you should pay particular attention to guidelines such as:

  • Rest for 24 hours following the operation. Usually, by the second day the patient is in good condition and can lead a normal life, but should avoid physical activities and / or great efforts.
  • It is advisable to avoid eating irritating foods during the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • There is no need to follow a specific cure of the wounds as these are very small and internal, so they will heal on their own.
  • The doctor may recommend the introduction of a dilator into the vagina for about 15 minutes a day after the operation. Thus, the incision will not close and the vaginal opening will remain open.

It is likely that the doctor will order further medical appointments with the patient at 8, 15 and 30 days after surgery to check how the wounds evolve and heal. It will be essential to go urgently to a medical centre if signs of infection after surgery are present, such as pain, pus discharge or high fever or if you notice that the vaginal opening is closing or that the dilator does not go in easily and causes discomfort when inserting it.

How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen - Care and precautions after surgery

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if I Have an Imperforate Hymen, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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