Pediatric Hymen Disorders

Pediatric Hymen Disorders

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Summary

The hymen is a 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 hymen, a membrane covering with a very small opening, or a band of extra tissue in the area of a normal hymen. These conditions are present at birth and the cause is unknown.

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

Symptoms

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 the 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

Treatment

Minor surgery can correct hymen disorders. Sometimes the surgery is done at birth. But when it is done at adolescence, the presence of estrogen aids in healing. 

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