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What is a septate hymen?

A half moon of thin membrane normally surrounds a young girl's vagina. Sometimes, the membrane has a band of extra tissue — called a septate hymen — in the middle, which creates two openings to the vagina.

Your daughter may have a hard time fitting a tampon in, or she may fit it in but then find it difficult to pull out after it expands with blood. Sexual intercourse will usually tear the extra tissue away, but there is also a minor surgery that can remove the extra tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.

Septate Hymen | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of septate hymen?

Th symptoms of a septate hymen can include:

  • trouble inserting or removing a tampon
  • pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse when the hymen tears.

What causes a septate hymen?

A septate hymen forms during embryological development when the tubes that eventually become a vagina don't fuse together properly.

Septate Hymen | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is a septate hymen diagnosed?

Usually, a septate hymen doesn't cause a problem until a girl's teenage years. During an examination, your daughter's gynecologist can confirm that there is a band of extra tissue running down the middle of her hymen.

How is a septate hymen treated?

Doctors will perform a minor surgical procedure to remove the extra tissue obstructing your daughter's vagina.

How will septate hymen affect my daughter's sex life and fertility?

After a septate hymen is successfully removed or tears on its own, your daughter should have a normal sexual and reproductive life. If a septate hymen isn't removed, it will create infertility or provide a form of natural contraception.

How we care for a septate hymen

At the Boston Children's Hospital Division of Gynecology, an interdisciplinary team of pediatricians, gynecologists, urogynecologists and colorectal surgeons will work to best treat your daughter's septate hymen.

Septate Hymen | Programs & Services