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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » hypertrophied hymen

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Author Topic: hypertrophied hymen
Member # 46007

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So, for over a year now, my friend has tried desperately time and time again to have intercourse with her boyfriend to no avail. She says it always hurts too much and it feels like there's a wall stopping his penis from penetrating very far. We've always suspected it was something psychological since she has anxiety as well as various body insecurities and the like, and of course the more they tried & "failed" the more anxious she got about it not working.
Since she's always had trouble wearing tampons (she did try some to use a dildo since she figured it could help prepare her for intercourse, but that also hurt too much), and has had other health/body problems her entire life since she was born almost 4 months premature, we suspected a physical issue could exist as well and eventually she decided to see a gynecologist (I believe she had tried to see one once before but was so nervous/averse to the idea that they didn't get very far).

Her gyno says she has a "hypertrophied hymen." I know about septate hymens, microperforate hymens, etc. but had never heard of this one and it's been difficult to find much valid-sounding information online. Her gyno says it's common but will require a surgery (which terrifies my friend). Obviously if a surgery is what's necessary, then great, simple solution, but I'm encouraging her to get a second opinion just in case..since surgery, even a simple one, is a big deal.

Do you know anything about hypertrophied hymens and if a surgery is actually a good idea? It sounds like her corona's just thicker than normal so didn't erode throughout puberty with her period like most do. And for me, I struggled with something similar the first few times I tried intercourse ("There's like a wall and his penis just won't go through no matter how aroused I am!!") and eventually, with the right person, it just worked. But I'm not her. Maybe it's thick enough there really isn't anyway for anything other than blood to pass through, without a surgery. Or maybe she needs some more fingers/dildos and lube and relaxation and that's it.

Any ideas?


Posts: 219 | From: Indiana | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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Hi Lilerse,

Well, hypertrophy in general is the enlargement of tissue or muscle from the enlargement of the cells that make up that tissue or muscle.

So, it sounds like your friend's gynecologist might be basically saying that she has an imperforate hymen (or at least partially so, since menstrual blood gets through) and that hypertrophy is the cause.

If your friend is anxious and uncertain, of course a sound thing for her to do would be to seek a second opinion.


Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Just to also be clear, surgery with imperformate hymens of any type is a VERY simple thing. It's outpatient, and is literally one small incision. Even though a patient is usually given an anesthetic, the hymen itself has no nerve endings.

So, if surgery is recommended for her, particularly from more than one OB/GYN, she should perhaps talk with who is suggesting it. When she does, they'll likely make clear to her that that procedure will most likely be way quicker and less painful than any of her attempts at intercourse have been.

But, as she's likely already been advised, she should stop the attempts. At this point, more lube, arousal, a different partner, etc. obviously isn't likely to make any difference. If those things would, her doctor would have advised them rather than a surgery. OB/GYNs are one of the groups of doctors who, at this point in time, tend to be very conservative about surgical procedures. And vaginismus can develop -- and that is WAY less easily dealt with than an imperforate hymen -- from having repeated painful attempts at intercourse.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Member # 46007

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Wonderful! That is all great and reassuring to hear. Thank you so much for your input and I'll pass it on to her.
Posts: 219 | From: Indiana | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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