The hymen is a thin, ring-like form of tissue that represents the opening to the vagina. Sometimes girls are born with conditions that affect the hymen, including a membrane covering the entire hymen, a membrane covering with a very small opening, or a band of extra tissue covering a part of the hymeneal opening.
These conditions are present at birth and the cause is unknown. These include:
A hymen disorder is identified by the physical evidence of extra tissue over the hymen. It can be difficult to diagnose at birth, so often the condition is noticed at puberty when a girl begins her period.
Symptoms can include:
Disorders are diagnosed by examination of the outside of the vaginal opening. This is typically done during an office visit.
Hymen disorders are present at birth and there is no known cause.
Accurate diagnosis and treatment is best done by a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist.
Minor surgery can correct hymen disorders.