The hymen is a thin membrane shaped like a half moon that partially covers the opening of a young girl’s vagina, allowing space for menstrual blood to flow out.
A septate hymen is when this thin membrane has a band of extra tissue in the middle that creates two small vaginal openings instead of one, making it difficult to get a tampon in or out.
Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in
Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
A septate hymen is a congenital disorder, meaning it is present at birth. It occurs when the hymen membrane does not form properly during development of the fetus.
The cause of this abnormal development is not yet known.
There may be no symptoms until a girl reaches puberty and begins using tampons during her periods.
Symptoms may include:
A septate hymen may not be discovered until puberty when the girl begins having problems using tampons during her periods, or has problems with sexual intercourse.
Diagnosis can be made through a physical exam.