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Adolescent Hymen Disorders

What are Adolescent Hymen Disorders?

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:

  • Imperforate hymen- When there is a membrane covering the entire hymen. This occurs in 1/1,000 females.
  • Microperforate hymen-When there is a membrane covering the hymen with only a very small opening.
  • Septate hymen-When there is a band of extra tissue covering a part of the hymeneal opening.

What are the signs and symptoms of Adolescent Hymen Disorders?

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:

  • Lack of a first menstrual cycle
  • Abdominal pain, back pain or difficulty with urination at the time of her first period when the blood backs up in the vaginal canal
  • Periods that last longer than the normal four to seven days
  • Inability to insert a tampon, or pain upon inserting one

How are Adolescent Hymen Disorders diagnosed?

Disorders are diagnosed by examination of the outside of the vaginal opening.  This is typically done during an office visit. 

What are the causes of Adolescent Hymen Disorders?

Hymen disorders are present at birth and there is no known cause.

How are Adolescent Hymen Disorders treated?

Gynecology

Accurate diagnosis and treatment is best done by a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist.

Minor surgery can correct hymen disorders. 

Adolescent Hymen Disorders Doctors and Providers