The NHS has funded more operations of late to reconstruct women's hymens to make them 'virgins' again...
Originally published: 7 June 2012
The operation, called ‘hymenoplasty’, has been performed on the NHS 116 times in the last five years.
Stats from the NHS Information Centre for health and social care show that NHS surgeons carried out 30 of the procedures in 2009 – up 20 per cent from 2005.
The procedure sees the hymen stitched or reconstructed so that it will tear and bleed again on the woman’s wedding night.
The Sun quotes NHS bosses as saying they only fund the operations for "physical and psychological" reasons.
The majority of patients undergoing the surgery are Muslim women who do not want their new husbands to know that they have had sex before marriage.
The surgery costs up to £4,000, and is usually performed by private clinics.
'Thousands of these 'virgin' operations take place every year'
According to doctors, thousands of these ‘virgin’ operations take place every year.
Consultant gynaecologist Dr Magdy Hend, whose clinic in London’s Harley Street performs the operations, says the ops are usually more for cultural than religious reasons.
Dr Hend said: "In the past, we would do one or two hymen reconstruction operations a week. Sometimes now, we get two or three women a day wanting it. Demand has tripled.
"The majority of our clients are Muslim women.
"They worry about having had sex and their fiancé and family knowing that they have been touched before.”
By Emily Gosling