Why - not?
10 good reasons not to get a new hymen1. Your hymen is not a closed membrane.
Many believe the hymen to be an unbroken membrane located in the vagina. This is not the case. It is a ring-shaped mucous membrane located around the entrance of the vagina, and women have it for their entire lives (source: Nini Møller, leading physician at Hillerød Hospital). The hymen is already open to allow menstrual blood to pass. Some women are born without any hymen at all. Click this link to see drawings of the hymen.
2. A lot of women do not bleed the first time they have intercourse.
Only one in five women bleed the first time they have intercourse. That means that 80% of all adult women do not bleed the first time they have sex. (Sources: Eriksson, Carola, 'Krop og Køn i medicinen, No. Lægefor. 2005, 125;3536 ). Some sources state that 60% bleed to varying degrees, while 40% do not bleed at all. (Source: Ineke Van Seumeren, UMC). Whichever report you choose to believe, it is a fact that many women do not bleed the first time they have intercourse. Your hymen may be more or less elastic and even if you abstain from sex before marriage, there is no guarantee that you will bleed on your wedding night. There are even women who have become pregnant without breaking their hymen. (Source: Kellogg et al. Pediatrics vol. 113, 2004).
The older you are and the longer your hymen has been under the influence of female hormones, the more elastic the mucous membrane becomes. This means that the chance of bleeding the first time you have intercourse is reduced with age. In this day and age most are no longer teenagers when they get married, so there is no particular reason to expect bleeding.
3. A man cannot feel whether your hymen is intact.
Even gynaecologists can have real difficulty determining whether a hymen is intact. Sometimes it is impossible to tell. This means there is no way a man can tell whether or not it is intact.
4. It will cost you a lot of money.
Surgeons charge a high hourly rate. This operation takes no more than fifteen minutes from beginning to end and costs between 4.500 and 12.000 DKK.
5. Surgery does not guarantee a bloodstained sheet.
The stitches the doctor puts in your vagina may burst after the operation but before your wedding night.(Sources: Reidun Førde, Rådet for legeetikk, norge, Tidsskr. No. Lægefor. 2005, 125;3536). This means that the operation does not guarantee blood at the right time and in the right place. For more information on surgery, see elsewhere on this site.
6. Surgical procedures always involve an element of risk.
The operation could lead to complications like infection, side-effects of the sedative, poor healing, and scarring.
7. The problems don't go away.
Not even after your wedding night. If you are feeling pressure from home and have difficulty dealing with the demands of parents and traditions, a couple of stitches are not going to solve your problems. By opting to have surgery, you are also choosing to tell your family that you wish to fulfill their expectations. This could lead to continued pressure and even higher expectations.
8. You are in charge of your body.
If you have chosen to be sexually active, that is your choice. Nobody else has the right to decide what happens to your body. You are also the one who will be living a lie after the operation, hiding who you really are and the choices you have made in life.
9. The myth will live on.
Nature did not intend all women to bleed the first time they have intercourse. In "the old days" when many girls got married at a very young age, bleeding was more common. Women today are older when they get married, so their mucous membranes have become more elastic with age. As long as women keep having operations or producing blood in other ways, it sustains the myth of the bleeding virgin. Families will continue to expect bleeding because "everybody else bleeds". The pressure and the expectations of young, untouched brides will continue.
10. Surgery cannot help you.
- if you are afraid for your life. You need help and support. All the surgeon will provide is a few stitches and a large bill. Talk to someone you trust, like your doctor, or a teacher. You can also send an e-mail to the agony column here at this site, or post a comment on our blog. You will of course remain anonymous.