The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening of a girl’s vagina. Typically it is shaped like a half moon, leaving space for menstrual blood to flow out of the vagina.
A microperforate hymen is when this thin membrane almost completely covers the opening to the vagina, with only a very small hole in the middle, making it difficult for menstrual blood to flow out.
Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
Causes & Risk Factors
A microperforate hymen is a congenital disorder, meaning it is present at birth. It occurs when the hymen membrane does not develop properly in the fetus. The cause of this abnormal development is not yet known.
Symptoms & Types
There may be no symptoms until a girl reaches puberty and begins having difficulty with her periods, because the opening is so small the blood can’t flow out easily.
Symptoms may include:
- Periods that last longer than the normal 4 to 7 days
- Difficulty or pain inserting or removing a tampon
- Inability to insert a tampon
- Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse when the hymen tears
Diagnosis & Tests
A microperforate hymen is typically diagnosed either in a newborn baby or at puberty when it causes problems with a girl’s periods.
Diagnoses can be made through a physical exam.
Treatment & Care
In most cases, as with an imperforate hymen, minor surgery is performed to remove the extra hymenal tissue and create a normal-sized vaginal opening.