What If, as an Unmarried Woman, My Hymen Ruptured as a Result of a Medical Procedure?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I had to undergo a medical procedure eight years ago after being diagnosed with endometriosis. My doctor advised me to have a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy (i.e. a camera inserted into the uterus via the vagina). Furthermore, the gynecologist who performed the surgical procedure was male.

Following the procedure, I suspected that my hymen had ruptured, and I am now worried that if I marry, my future husband will accuse me of fornication, or that if I tell him about my medical history, he will judge my character because of my surgeon being male. I’m working hard to obtain a medical certificate as proof of my medical procedure. It is extremely difficult to obtain the 8-year back records.

What if I can’t find the letter proving my hysteroscopy? I intend to consult with a physiotherapist and obtain a letter from a Muslim female gynecologist. Is it permissible? Please advice.

Answer

Thank you for your honest question. I pray that you find someone kind and pious to marry that will give you the benefit of the doubt and be good to you.

Please don’t be worried about this subject. You had a medical issue. You went to the best doctor in the field, you got better and now you will see a female physiotherapist to stay on top of your pelvic issues.

Still a Virgin

Your virginity has not been lost. Shaykh Jamir quoted this from his article linked below:

“The hymen of a woman may be broken in many ways: Injury, accident, playing sports, riding a bicycle, penetration of any sort such as a medical examination, use of tampons, or a douche … In fact, the jurists (fuqaha) state that a woman whose hymen is broken due to other than having actual sex is Islamically considered to be a virgin. Imam al-Mawsili (Allah have mercy on him) states, ‘If a woman lost her virginity due to jumping, injury, becoming old or (strong) menstrual periods, then she will be considered a virgin.”  [Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta’lil al-Mukhtar]

Related:
Is Horse Riding Permissible for Unmarried Women? (Shafi’i

Hymen Does Not Have to Bleed

First of all, please look for a mature and educated man that will understand what you went through. If your hymen was broken by the hysteroscopy, he should not be angered by it. If he is educated, he will know that bleeding after penetration does not happen to every virgin. It is normal not to bleed, as well. Most importantly, if he knows that you haven’t been with a man, he should be pleased. A man should never believe that a woman’s hymen is more important than her health. If he does, he is an ignoramus and doesn’t deserve you.

Male Doctor and Documents

I pray that you don’t marry such a man that will ask for documented proof about your operation. But I agree that it is wise and beneficial to have on hand. If you can’t find it, simply contact the doctor or clinic and see if they can print it again or email it to you.

Getting medical treatment by a qualified male doctor is not necessarily sinful. Please see the following article for criteria on choosing a doctor for medical treatment:
Fiqh of Females Seeking Medical Treatment

If your husband still gets upset with you about seeing a male doctor, you should kindly explain to him what you said in your question. You were young, and took the advice of your brother to see someone qualified for such a delicate matter. He should also know these personally obligatory rules about seeking treatment.

Please don’t pre-occupy yourself with worrying about this issue. Focus on your health by eating well and exercising, take a course on marriage, read the linked articles, and better yourself while you wait. Pray to Allah to send you someone kind and pious, learn your personally obligatory knowledge, and take advantage of your free time while you have it. Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” [Hakim]

Related
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Lasting Love: What Makes for Successful Marriage?

May Allah give you the best of health and happiness.[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.