What is imperforate hymen?

Jump To

Imperforate hymen: Overview

The hymen is the thin tissue around the opening to the vagina. Usually the hymen has an opening. This lets menstrual blood pass through the vagina.

In rare cases, the hymen does not have an opening. This is called an imperforate hymen. Doctors often diagnose it around puberty, when symptoms of pain and pressure in the pelvic area may start to occur. This is caused by the backed-up menstrual blood.

To treat it, your doctor will make an opening in the hymen. This will let the blood drain.

Imperforate hymen

The hymen is the thin tissue around the entry of the vagina that usually has an opening for menstrual blood to pass through. An imperforate hymen means that the hymen does not have an opening, so the entry of the vagina is completely closed off by the hymen.

How can you care for an imperforate hymen?

  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve), if you have pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Do not douche or try to use a tampon until your doctor says it is okay.

Imperforate hymen: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.
  • You have new or increasing vaginal bleeding.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.