Appearance of the hymen in newborns

A. Berenson, A. Heger, S. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to evaluate the genital anatomy of female newborns. Hymenal configuration and the number and location of clefts, bumps, tags, and ridges were observed in 468 neonates; photographs for confirmation were obtained for 449 neonates (96%). Hymenal configurations observed included an annular hymen with a central or ventrally displaced orifice in 80% (372/468) of neonates, a fimbriated hymen in 19% (90/468), and a septated or cribriform hymen in 1% (6/468). Configurations significantly differed by race (P < .001) but no difference was noted by gestational age or weight. Clefts, which occurred only on the ventral 180 degrees of the rim, were observed in 34% of neonates with an annular hymen. Fifty-six percent of neonates had a longitudinal intravaginal ridge, 87% had an external hymenal ridge, and 13% had a tag extending from the rim or a ridge. Periurethral ligaments were frequently observed. It is concluded that lateral and ventral clefts, intravaginal and external ridges, and periurethral bands are normal anatomical findings in the newborn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • hymen
  • hymenal configuration
  • hymenal morphology
  • newborns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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