Hymen repair was the fastest growing cosmetic procedure requested in the US in 2006 – requests jumped by more than 24% in that year. There is a growing consensus among doctors worldwide that more and more patients will continue to request this service. There are several simple surgical alternatives to full-blown hymen repair surgery, including inserting gelatin capsules filled with a blood-like substance on the wedding night, timing a period to coincide with the wedding, using the contraceptive pill, and performing a temporary stitching of the hymen. However, not all of these will produce the desired result, or are available to all women. Allograft placement is a new procedure that uses biodynamic tissue to replace the hymen. This form of hymen repair is rapidly growing in popularity.
When is it recommended?
Simple hymen repair surgery is usually recommended when hymen fragments remain in the vagina. These can be stitched together with dissolvable sutures, and if penetration occurs within a three to seven day period of the surgery, the bleeding and pain caused will approximate the breaking of the natural hymen. Unfortunately, some women have very little hymenal tissue and those structures that do remain have very elastic fragments of tissue (due to age), that will likely not bleed upon penetration.
In these cases, the use of a biomaterial known as Alloplant is often used in the hymen repair surgery. Alloplant surgery is often used in cases where a woman wants to restore the appearance of virginity months or years after she initially had intercourse. Even after many years of intercourse, and childbirth, alloplant insertions can approximate the function and appearance of a hymen.
Alloplants are harvested from human cadavers much like one donates an organ after death. The harvested tissue is combined with bioactivators and is irradiated to sterilize and kill any bacterial pathogens. Unlike skin grafts, hymen repair surgery is not intended to produce functional structure over the long term. It simply needs to be implanted, and then torn. Allograft is a term used sometimes interchangeably with alloplanting, however this term usually has a wider sphere of reference and can be used to describe ordinary organ transplants, skin and other tissue donations.
The alloplant is used to create a new hymen – the tissue is first sutured onto the vaginal wall, and, since the material is derived from human tissue, heals across the opening of the vagina. The procedure takes relatively little time; however it is definitely more time consuming than regular hymen repair procedures, where the remnants of a hymen are stitched together. Alloplant hymen repair surgery takes around two hours to complete and is performed as an outpatient procedure.
Sex after alloplant surgery will often be much more painful for the woman than her initial intercourse. While up to 80% of women naturally experience very little to no bleeding upon breaking their hymen, breaking an alloplant hymen is quite painful and is associated with significant bleeding. The material is made thin enough to tear through, but is usually much tougher and less naturally perforated than an original hymen.