T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 33739
posted 05-14-2007 05:27 PM
I'm not sure if I'm breaking any forum rules here, but basically: I have a friend who told me about her condition, I referred her to this site to ask around but she felt uneased so I'm doing it for her.
When she was a child she had a fused hymen and we're not exactly sure what it is ... (we've been childhood best friends so it's not too creepy if we share these things to one another) We've been searching online and it seems to me that it usually separates naturally or an operation must be done. From what she remembers, she said that an operation was never performed so I assume that it just opened naturally. However, she wants to be sexually intimate w/ her bf but it hurts to have sex ... she told me she has no problems urinating, vaginal discharge are okay, but somehow it just hurts. She went to a college nurse to get advice and they tried to conduct a pelvic exam for her (w/ those terrible silver "duk-lip" contraption) and although to many it may be uncomfortable, to her it was hell. The exam didn't follow through because she was hurting so much. So any idea? During summer she'll have her first gyno visit and it'd be really nice if we get feedback so that she knows a little bit more about it and discuss this w/ her doctor.
Member # 3
posted 05-14-2007 05:53 PM
I'm a little confused by the terminology you're using, and let me explain why.
For something to be fused, that means more than one thing has attached to another thing or things. So, for instance, sometimes there are cases of fused labia, since there are two, but since there's only one hymen, to my understanding (and based on what fused means) the hymen canot be fused. So, are we talking about fused labia, or are we talking about an imperforate hymen? if you can find out from your friend, we can be of more help.
Member # 33739
posted 05-14-2007 06:32 PM
well...we're not really sure ... I guess that's one of the basic problems/barriers preventing me and my friend in understanding the situation...we don't know how to dicipher between the two
Since she doesn't recall having a hard time urinating as a child ... in fact, she barely found out a couple months ago so she wasn't even expecting such news from her mom (I don't know why they never told her until now) it could be the imperforate hymen. Sorry about the confusion. (and yes, "fused" is defined as you stated)
Member # 30315
posted 05-14-2007 06:50 PM
The thing is, the vagina isn't where you urinate from. So that wouldn't really have a bearing on the state of her hymen. If she's been having her periods and vaginal discharges and all that, then her hymen can't be totally imperforate (that means that there are no holes, by the way), because that stuff has to come out of somewhere.
She can check that out for herself, to an extent: if she's got a handmirror, she can just take a look down there to see what it looks like. (And hymens do break on their own - that's why the whole "virgins always bleed their first time" is ridiculous, because the hymen might already have broken from tampon use, horseback riding, vigorous exercise, fingering yourself, and the list goes on!) That said, the main reason I can think of for why the exam and sex attempts would be painful is because she's tensed up or nervous, so trying to relax during the exam might help it go more smoothly. Also, she could probably ask them to use lubrication or something if they weren't already; that often helps exams go easier. And for sex, is she totally relaxed, fully aroused, really ready for it? If she isn't in any way, that can be a huge barrier.
Member # 3
posted 05-14-2007 07:30 PM
Well, if she knows she had hymenal issues as a child, then she can certainly ask her parents to let her know what that issue was, or talk to the childhood doctor who stated she had some sort of issue (though it'd have been unusual for a pediatrician to have examined her vagina, honestly).
Like Lucy said, none of this would really have any bearing on urination, regardless. And with an imperforate hymen, the issues would have been things like an inability to menstruate or see flow, etc. However, some hymens are simply resilient (though again, this isn't something a childhood doctor would have addressed, and I can explain why later if need be), so while there may be some discharges and flow, a very resilient hymen which isn't wearing away may have openings so small that putting a finger or speculum or penis inside isn't possible or is highly painful. Again, her finding out what exactly this issue, if any, was, would be really helpful. There may not be a hymenal issue, and as Lucy explained, it could be a physical response to fear or nervousness, too.
Member # 33739
posted 05-14-2007 08:01 PM
I feel like I'm just making myself sound silly by merely describing what's happening to my friend -- thanks but I do know what imperforated means; I'm just the mediator between her and you guys. Again, we're not technically sure as to what her condition is so we are not concluding that it's hymen/labia/imperforated/fused. We just don't know. Hence, we are asking if you'd be able to help. We do know that it may be her hymen because she DIDN'T have problems urinating as a child, as I stated on my 2nd post. On my first post, I stated that her parents told her that whatever was fused - opened up when she was a child, so it may have been possible that it was her hymen --> hence the normal menstrual flow/discharge as a teen. Her parents did say that if it did not open soon they would have opted for an operation because complications may occur.
This just got really confusing and it may be attributed to the fact that I'm trying to relate something that did not happen to me. Thanks anyway. And I will pass on the nervousness/tense explanation ... hopefully she'll relax during her 1st gyno visit. And as for her sexual relations, I will ask her if there's anything on her mind that may be bothering her and recommend her to make sure she's ready. [ 05-14-2007, 08:03 PM: Message edited by: calicobottles ]
Member # 3
posted 05-14-2007 08:07 PM
Again, a hymen can't be fused, because it is one part: for fusion, you need more than one thing. In some infants (and particularly with some intersexed infants, and if her parents were appraised of genital issues from when she was small, that may be an issue here), labia can be fused still at birth (I say still, because during fetal development, there is a stage where they start that way), but there's just not a fused hymen, the same way you couldn't say, have, a fused ankle. Make sense?
Another relatively common childhood genital issue are labial adhesions, but those tend to resolve themselves at puberty and don't cause adult sexual issues. But ultimately, given the second-party communication we're having here, and how unclear her folks seem in terms of what they're telling her (and if any childhood issue is even related to the issue she's having now at all), her GYN is going to be her best bet. And she can -- and should -- make clear from the start that a) an exam has been problematic before and she isn't sure why, and b) she's having problems and pain with vaginal intercourse. And if she feels nervous (which would be typical when you've had a rough exam before, as well as with genital issues overall), she should tell her nurse and doc before the exam, so that they know she needs some extra care and explanation. [ 05-14-2007, 08:37 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]