A microperforate hymen is when your hymen has one small opening in it, but otherwise covers the opening to your vagina. It's a rare, congenital condition. It can cause painful symptoms and is treatable with surgery.
A microperforate hymen is when your hymen has one small hole in it, but otherwise, it covers your entire vaginal opening. It's a rare, congenital condition (you're born with). The hymen is a ring-like piece of tissue that surrounds the opening of the vagina (but does not cover it). If you have a microperforate hymen, your hymen covers your vagina other than a small opening. This hole can allow for menstruation but may cause other painful symptoms.
A microperforate hymen is a variation of an imperforate hymen. An imperforate hymen is where your hymen completely covers the opening to your vagina. The word "micro" describes the small hole in your hymen.
Your hymen is a tissue membrane at the opening of your vagina. It's formed during fetal development from leftover remnants of your vagina. It's thin, elastic and located at the entrance of your vagina.
Your hymen is thick at birth but wears and loses its elasticity due to hormones, physical activities or inserting tampons. Most hymens form a ring around your vaginal opening at birth. Your hymen recedes and eventually tears, often causing no symptoms. Your hymen is the same color as the skin around your vagina.
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It's rare to be diagnosed with a microperforate hymen. It's an uncommon condition that isn't diagnosed often.
The hole in your hymen may or may not be large enough for menstrual blood and vaginal fluids to flow out of the vagina. This can cause symptoms such as:
You may not realize you have a microperforate hymen until you begin having sexual intercourse. Being unable to have vaginal intercourse or experiencing pain and bleeding during intercourse are signs of a microperforate hymen.
You are born with a microperforate hymen. No one is entirely sure why this occurs, but healthcare providers know it happens during fetal development when your vagina forms.
Yes, you can still have a period if you have a microperforate hymen. One small hole in your hymen allows for blood to flow out the vagina during menstruation. In some cases, the hole is not large enough for blood to flow out, and therefore, you may not get a period.
Healthcare providers diagnose a microperforate hymen during a visual exam of the vulva, hymen and vaginal opening. There will be extra tissue surrounding the entrance to the vagina and one small hole in the hymen.
Some pediatricians will detect a microperforate hymen in infants; however, it's more commonly diagnosed in puberty when symptoms appear due to difficulties with menstruation.
The small hole in the hymen can stretch and tear on its own sometime around puberty. This happens as you age and as hormones increase in your body. Your hymen can tear after trying to use tampons or having vaginal intercourse. If your hymen rips or expands on its own, there may be no treatment necessary. Most people will resume typical menstruation, use tampons and have pain-free sexual intercourse once the extra tissue is gone.
A minor surgery called a hymenectomy removes extra hymenal tissue. This is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center.
During a hymenectomy, a gynecologist will use scissors or a scalpel to cut away excess hymenal tissue. They will then use absorbable stitches to secure the edges of the hymen into the vaginal wall. This creates a typical hymen and exposes the vaginal opening.
There are no long-term complications of a hymenectomy, and most people will heal without any issues.
Like most surgical procedures, there are risks associated with a hymenectomy:
Side effects of treating a microperforate hymen are pain and soreness in the vulvar area of your vagina. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can relieve any pain or cramping you have with over-the-counter pain relievers.
There is nothing you can do to control the shape of your hymen. It's formed when you are still in the womb. A microperforate hymen occurs when the hymen doesn't fully open during embryonic development.
Yes, you should be able to menstruate without issues after treatment. You will also be able to use tampons if desired.
Call your healthcare provider if you think you have a microperforate hymen. The first symptoms are typically long or painful periods. If you have been diagnosed with a microperforate hymen, it can be corrected with surgery. In some cases, it resolves over time on its own.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience pelvic pain, long and slow menstrual periods or other symptoms of microperforate hymen.
If you've had surgery to repair microperforate hymen, you should call your healthcare provider if:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A microperforate hymen is a rare but treatable condition. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions you have. They can explain how a microperforate hymen is fixed and what you can expect afterward. Once your hymen is removed you should have pain-free menstruation and sexual intercourse.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/29/2022.
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