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Hymenoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to repair and reconstruct the hymen. Essentially, this surgery restores a woman's physical virginity. Some women undergo this procedure as a gift to a significant other. Other women in Arabic cultures need a certificate of virginity to marry. For some, this surgery is a matter of tradition and social taboos. There are other situations of rape, incest, or other sexual abuse where she may have a hymenoplasty to take back her power and (at least physically) repair the damage that was done.
Hymenoplasty is also known as a hymenorrhaphy.
Hymenoplasty only takes about 30 minutes under local anesthetic. Dissolvable stitches are used to connect the torn edges of the hymen. Once it heals, there should be no obvious scarring.
It should be mentioned that sexual activity is not the only way the hymen can be torn. Vigorous exercise, tampon use, horseback riding, and other similar activity can tear the hymen. Even if the hymen is intact the first time a woman has intercourse, not all women bleed.
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