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What is a microperforate hymen?

A half moon of thin membrane normally surrounds a young girl's vagina. Sometimes, the hymenal membrane extends all the way across the hymenal area with only a very small hole in the center. This is called a microperforate hymen.

Menstrual blood and mucus may still be able to escape the vagina, but since it's flowing through such a small hole, the period may last longer than the normal four- to seven-day cycle.

Your daughter may not be able to insert a tampon, or she may have pain when she tries to fit it in.

Sometimes a microperforate hymen resolves spontaneously as the girl grows older, or it may tear away with some pain when she inserts a tampon or when she has sexual intercourse. There is also a minor surgery than can remove the extra tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.

How we care for microperforate hymen

At the Boston Children's Hospital Division of Gynecology and Center for Congenital Anomalies of the Reproductive Tract, an interdisciplinary team of pediatricians, gynecologists, urogynecologists, and colorectal surgeons will work to best treat your daughter's microperforate hymen.

Microperforate Hymen | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of microperforate hymen?

Common symptoms include:

  • periods that last longer than the normal four to seven days
  • inability to insert a tampon, or pain upon inserting one
  • pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse when the hymen tears

What causes microperforate hymen?

A microperforate hymen occurs during embryological development when the hymenal tissue doesn't form properly. After a microperforate hymen is successfully removed or tears on its own, your daughter should have a normal sexual and reproductive life.

Microperforate Hymen | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is microperforate hymen diagnosed?

Usually, a microperforate hymen doesn't cause a problem until a girl's teenage years. During an examination, your daughter's gynecologist can confirm that there is extra tissue covering her hymen.

How is microperforate hymen treated?

Your daughter will undergo a minor surgical procedure to remove the microperforate hymen.

Microperforate Hymen | Programs & Services