Going under the knife to reclaim virginity is a trend that seems to have shifted base from the Middle East to smaller Indian cities.
City doctors say that where almost 80 per cent of surgeries were conducted on those from the Middle East a few years ago, now women from small cities and towns in Maharashtra and neighbouring states – like Surat and Baroda – form the bulk.
If restructuring the hymen can help restructure lives after premarital sex, then hymenoplasty seems to be the right answer. The procedure involves creating a membrane about an inch into the vagina that resembles a natural hymen.
“I get occasional requests from young women who want to know about such procedures. Most of the requests come from small towns or some select communities, where virginity really counts,” said Dr Rishima Pai, gynaecologist with Lilavati and Jaslok hospital.
“With awareness and easy availability, more women are coming forward, sometimes accompanied by family members,” said Dr Milind Wagh, cosmetic surgeon at Dr L.H.Hiranandani Hospital.
“Another reason for the growing trend maybe the costs involved. With the procedure coming for anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000, those from small town can afford it. The demand from these regions is more because acceptance levels of premarital sex is lower,” said Dr Mohan Thomas, cosmetic surgeon at Breach Candy Hospital.
“It is disturbing but true that women are expected to be the epitome of virtue. As long as it’s her decision, it’s fine. But family and societal expectations to make her appear ‘pure’ is unfair,” said Dr Sharita Shah, psychiatrist at Saifee, Bhatia and Hurkisondas hospitals.