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by sexual intercourse or by introduction of any foreign body are usually
situated posteriorly at one or both sides, or in the median line, and usually
extend to the point of attachment of the hymen at the edge of the vagina.

The hymen is sometimes divided by a bridge of tissue into two equal or
unequal openings, and is then known as a septate hymen. It is occasionally
cribriform, presenting numerous minute openings. It may form a complete
septum across the lower end of the vagina, when it is called an imperforate
hymen. Nasiruddin1 cites the case of a Mahomedan girl of 18 years who
had an imperforate hymen. McDroy and Ward2 report the case of three
sisters in one family who had an imperforate hymen. It is said that the
hymen may be congenitally absent, but no authentic case has so far been

The hymen is situated more deeply in children than in nubile girls, and
so it more often escapes injury in an attempted rape on children.

Normally the hymen is ruptured by the first act of coitus, though it may
persist even after frequent acts of coitus if it happens to be loose, folded and
elastic, or thick, tough and fleshy. Cases have been recorded in which the
hymen had to be incised at the time of delivery, while even prostitutes have
been known to possess an intact hymen.

Fig. 133.—Circular hymen presenting

natural notches.

(From Peterson, Haines and Webster's

Legal Medicine  and  Toxicology,

Ed. II, Vol. I.)

Fig. 134.—Septate hymen presenting
unequal openings.

(Prom Peterson, Haines and Webster's

Legal Medicine and Toxicology,

Ed. II, Vol. I.)

Cases of Persistent Hymen after Coitus.—1. A girl attended the out-patient depart-
ment at the Broca Hospital in Paris for treatment of what was to all appearances an
insignificant leucorrhcea. On examination the girl was found to be suffering from
gonorrhoea and admitted that she had infected several of her customers, she being a
clandestine prostitute of the purlieus of the Sorbonne, She had been in the town for
over a year, and had entertained as many as five men in a single afternoon on a fej
day. The hymen was, however, present, whose orifice was barely two millimetres? $
diameter. It was elastic, and admitted the passage of a large rectal bougie,            4*^ J

its  obturator-like   condition  when this was  withdrawn.—Sutherland,  Ind.
June 1902, p. 245.

1.   Ind. Med. Gaz., May 1926, p. 232.

2.   Proceedings of the Royal Sac. oj Med., March 1930, p. 633,