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Hymen reconstruction: It's not just for Muslims

The New York Times just ran a story on hymen reconstruction surgeries, a topic I've written about and have been researching in Turkey. Since it came out, it's become the most forwarded story on the New York Times website.* The story makes it seem like this is only a Muslim issue, but in fact many Latinas undergo the procedure for much the same reasons.

Gynecologists say that in the past few years, more Muslim women are seeking certificates of virginity to provide proof to others. That in turn has created a demand among cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacements, which, if done properly, they say, will not be detected and will produce tell-tale vaginal bleeding on the wedding night. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; medical tourism packages are available to countries like Tunisia where it is less expensive.

“If you’re a Muslim woman growing up in more open societies in Europe, you can easily end up having sex before marriage,” said Dr. Hicham Mouallem, who is based in London and performs the operation. “So if you’re looking to marry a Muslim and don’t want to have problems, you’ll try to recapture your virginity.”

*Funders take note. People are INTERESTED in this subject. Is it too much to ask for a bit of funding??