A simulated "acquired" imperforate hymen following the genital trauma of sexual abuse

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1987 Jun;26(6):307-9. doi: 10.1177/000992288702600609.


Imperforate hymen, a condition in which the hymen has no aperture, usually occurs congenitally, secondary to failure of development of a lumen. A case of a documented simulated "acquired" imperforate hymen is presented in this article. The patient, a 5-year-old girl, was the victim of sexual abuse. Initial examination showed tears, scars, and distortion of the hymen, laceration of the perineal body, and loss of normal anal tone. Follow-up evaluations over the next year showed progressive healing. By 7 months after the injury, the hymen was replaced by a thick, opaque scar with no orifice. Patients with an apparent imperforate hymen require a sensitive interview and careful visual inspection of the genital and anal areas to delineate signs of injury. The finding of an apparent imperforate hymen on physical examination does not eliminate the possibility of antecedent vaginal penetration and sexual abuse.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anus Diseases / etiology*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hymen / injuries*
  • Perineum / injuries
  • Vaginal Diseases / etiology
  • Vaginal Diseases / pathology