The hymen is a stretchy, thin, and flexible piece of tissue that’s located just inside of a woman’s vaginal opening. It’s actually composed of material that’s left behind after the vagina forms in utero.
Normally, a hymen doesn’t stretch across the entire vaginal opening, sealing it off like a lid. Instead, it is usually crescent-shaped, leaving a hole that’s large enough for menstruation to take place.
- What Is A Septate Hymen?
In the case of a septate hymen, however, the hymenal tissue is divided across the middle — essentially splitting the vaginal opening in two.
When girls discover that they have a septate hymen, they’re often desperate to remedy the problem.
In fact, they may think that it’s safe to cut it themselves.
If you try to cut your own septate hymen, you’re likely to make the situation worse for yourself — not better.
Not only will you run the risk of getting a severe infection, which could later turn into sepsis as a result of not using clean tools, but potential blood loss and scarring are also a major concern.
Additionally, you may experience a lot of unnecessary pain during the process.
Every young woman wants to feel like she is in control of her own body, but attempting to cut your own septate hymen may cause more harm than good.
- How Common Is A Septate Hymen?
Since cases are likely under-reported, it is hard to know for certain how common they actually are, although it’s estimated that approximately 1 in 1,000 girls have a septate hymen.
- Why Didn’t I Know I Had A Septate Hymen When I Was Younger?
A septate hymen is a condition you’re born with, but many girls don’t become aware of it until puberty.
After all, it’s not like we ever hear anyone talk about this subject in our sex education classes at school. And if I’m being honest, exploring our own anatomy at a young age is a difficult and often shame-filled prospect.
A septate hymen might not be discovered until a young woman struggles with tampon use repeatedly or until she experiences pain during sexual play or penetration.
Even so, it can still take time for some young women to realize that a septate hymen is the cause of their pain.
- What Problems Can A Septate Hymen Cause?
Using a tampon is difficult, if not impossible, for many individuals with a septate hymen because the two openings created by a septate hymen may be too small to accommodate a tampon.
If a tampon does fit and passes through one side of a split hymen, it may be difficult to later remove it through the same side.
Other common problems that are associated with a septate hymen include pain and bleeding during sex.
A septate hymen could potentially cause infertility since penetration may not be possible, though it’s important to note that once the hymen tears or is removed, this is no longer an issue.
- Will A Septate Hymen Tear On Its Own?
In some cases, the extra hymen tissue will tear on its own during sex, when using a tampon, or throughout the course of other activities, such as horseback riding or gymnastics.
In these instances, bleeding and pain may occur when the hymen tears, but there’s usually no need for further intervention.
- What If I Want My Septate Hymen Removed?
If your septate hymen is still intact and negatively affecting you, don’t try to remove it yourself. There is a much safer option available.
In order to access that option, however, you’ll have to talk to your doctor first.
Listen, I get it: feeling like your body is weird or somehow “broken” is such a lonely feeling.
The absolute last thing you probably want to do is talk to someone about the very thing that’s making you feel different.
Although you may be embarrassed to bring the topic up, it’s absolutely worth mentioning to your doctor. This is your sexual health we’re talking about, here.
If you don’t have a doctor you feel comfortable talking with or if you don’t have a regular gynecologist, consider making an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood.
The recommended treatment for a septate hymen is a hymenectomy, a minor and often simple procedure that removes the extra tissue around the vaginal opening.
It is also a procedure that is best left in the hands of trained professionals.
Ultimately, you deserve to feel comfortable in your own body.
If you have a septate hymen, it’s important to be educated about it so you can choose a safe option for yourself instead of attempting a risky DIY procedure.
Do you have a septate hymen or have you undergone a hymenectomy to remedy a septate hymen in the past?
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