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Dr. Davidson
Dr. Davidson, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1056
Experience:  Board Certified Specialist in Pediatrics, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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what could cause a perforated hymen on a 3 year old girl

Customer Question

what could cause a perforated hymen on a 3 year old girl?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 4 years ago.
Hi there, and thanks for your question. There are several reasons why a hymen may perforate in a 3 year-old girl. In fact, there are many misconceptions about the hymen, and in pediatrics we're occasionally faced with questions such as yours. Here are some interesting facts about the hymen:

1. Some girls are born without a hymen;
2. The hymen may tear naturally when a girl plays sports or engages in any physical activity;
3. The hymen is not always smooth but tends to be perforated and that the perforations may get bigger and cause the hymen to break once a girl menstruates;
4. The hymen can be broken by the use of tampons;
5. The hymen may be very small or very elastic so that no breakage occurs at all (some women even become pregnant while their hymens are still intact);
6. A hymen may not bleed when broken.

Clearly some of these conditions apply to 3 year-olds, while others do not. In addition the causes mentioned above, child abuse is one that has to be mentioned. In cases of child abuse, the nature and examination of the hymenal tear will be telling. With abuse there are usually other physical signs and symptoms, and the tear itself can be jagged or irregular. When a hymen tears naturally, through physical activity, or because of its prior perforations, the tear is smooth and regular appearing. Therefore, if you are concerned about it, I would recommend seeing your pediatrician who should be able to distinguish between a hymen that has perforated due to natural causes or otherwise.

I wish you well. Regards, XXXXX XXXXX

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