Helping Hand Logo

A hymenectomy (hi min ECK tuh me) is a procedure that is done to remove extra tissue from the hymen that partly or totally covers a female’s vaginal opening. 

Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes this extra tissue can stop menstrual blood from coming out of the vagina. If this happens, it can cause the blood to build up in the vagina. If the extra tissue only partially covers the entrance, menstrual blood can exit the vagina. However, the extra tissue makes using a tampon or having sexual intercourse difficult. 

Early Signs:

Later Signs:

  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse


If the vaginal opening is partly or totally blocked, a genital exam will allow the practitioner to see this.


The hymenectomy procedure is done either in the clinic or the operating room. Your gynecologist carefully removes the extra tissue so your body can function as it should. You may have stitches that will dissolve on their own. 

You do not have to spend the night in the hospital.

What to Do at Home

Some bleeding may occur after the procedure. This bleeding is typically not heavy. It happens normally as the wound heals. You may also have a discharge for a week or two after the procedure. 

You might feel slight discomfort in the vaginal area for a few days after surgery. 

Your healthcare provider may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine to be taken by mouth, or a topical cream to apply to the vaginal opening. The medicine is used to numb the skin to reduce pain and discomfort. Ice packs may also be used for comfort and to reduce any swelling.

When to Contact Your Provider

Call your health care provider if you notice any of these signs:

  • A fever higher than 101 degrees F
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • A discharge that lasts more than 2 weeks
  • Pain that is not relieved by taking pain medicine
  • Trouble urinating after your procedure
  • Any other questions or concerns after your procedure


There is minimal recovery time or time off from normal activities. You can do most of your regular activities after this procedure, as long as you feel comfortable doing so. It is safe to use a panty liner or a pad if you need to.

Until two weeks have passed from the day of your procedure:

  • Do not use tampons
  • Do not have sexual intercourse


You may bathe as you usually do after your procedure.  Wash with warm water and mild soap.  Pat the area dry – do not rub. Sitz baths (soaking in a tub of warm water) may help if you have discomfort.


You can expect to have a follow-up appointment with your doctor within 2 to 4 weeks after your procedure. This is to be sure you are healing properly.

Write down all of your questions as you think of them. Bring your list with you when you see the doctor. Please be sure to call your doctor’s office if you cannot keep your appointment.

Hymenectomy (PDF)

HH-I-445 1/19 | Copyright 2019, Nationwide Children’s Hospital