Many friends have told me about their personal horror stories and physical pain, when consummating their marriage, that caused them panic attacks.

Is it permitted for a woman to break her hymen by herself in order to minimize pain and/or shame upon consummating her marriage?

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    Consult Your Local Orthodox Rabbi for this. בהצלחה והרבה נחת
    – kouty
    Sep 26, 2016 at 8:19
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    Please bear in mind that MiYodeya does not offer practical Halakhic advice. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt and, as previously mentioned, CYLOR before reaching any final conclusions.
    – Lee
    Sep 26, 2016 at 8:37
  • @Dida I attempted to make the question less personal and thereby more likely to remain open (and receive an answer) while maintaining your original intent.
    – Lee
    Sep 26, 2016 at 8:45
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Lee
    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:08
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    See yoatzot.org/questions-and-answers/answer.asp?id=1056 I heard that we only believe the doctor that it was completely removed if he is a religious jew
    – hazoriz
    Sep 28, 2016 at 11:50

3 Answers 3


While it is halachikly permissible it is generally not medically recommended as the hymen isn't the source of discomfort . See this article for more details: Hymenectomy for kallah?

  • Too bad that article doesn't give a source. I think nishmat usually does. While you are right re pain, another potential advantage of the surgical procedure (if done well in advance of the wedding) is that the couple may not need to separate due to dam betulim.
    – Avraham
    Apr 14, 2023 at 8:15

While not offering a direct halachic source, in bYevamot 34b there is an indication that auto-defloration by crushing the hymen is a virtuous act

וְהָא תָּמָר בְּבִיאָה רִאשׁוֹנָה אִיעַבַּרָא! אֲמַר לֵיהּ: תָּמָר בְּאֶצְבַּע מִעֲכָה. דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק: כׇּל מוֹעֹכוֹת שֶׁל בֵּית רַבִּי — תָּמָר שְׁמָן, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמָן תָּמָר — עַל שֵׁם תָּמָר שֶׁמִּעֲכָה בְּאֶצְבָּעָהּ

But didn’t Tamar become pregnant from the first act of intercourse? Rav Naḥman said: Tamar broke her hymen with her finger prior to intercourse, as Rabbi Yitzḥak said: All of those women from the household of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who break their hymens are named Tamar by nickname. And why are they named Tamar? They are called this on account of Tamar, who broke her hymen with her finger.

See further the comments of Ritva there.

  • David Malkiel in this article (p. 118) argues that the end of Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer ch. 16 is referring to a custom of Jewish women to remove the hymen but that does not seem to be the simple reading of the text (rather that women would produce the blood after intercourse as proof of having previously been a virgin) jstor.org/stable/… Apr 14, 2023 at 5:04

Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov

i do not think it is forbidden (since you are damaging your body for a reason; a good reason might be to get pregnant form the first relations, (see yevomos 34b, audio but it is possible Tamar did it when she was with Yehuda and did not need to wait 7 days because it was before the decree of the besulin blood)) and it might not be damage since you can do it on shabos (but it might be Baal Tashchis)), but a woman that does it is surely lowering her worth and her connection with her husband. If she feels that she needs to do it I think it would be proper to get permission from the groom.

See shulchan aruch even ezer 67.5 that her kesuva is half of the one for a virgin (meaning: hymen intact) girl.

See talmud sanhedrin 22b that her relationship with her husband is less intimate

R. Samuel b. Unya said in the name of Rab: A woman [before marriage] is a shapeless lump,3 and concludes a covenant only with him who transforms her [into] a [useful] vessel, as it is written: For thy maker is thy husband; the Lord of Hosts is his name.4

3 I.e., of undetermined character.
4 Isa. 54, 5. As God formed the character of Israel so does a husband that of the wife.

from shulchan aruch even ezer 63.2 we see that there even is halacha that the groom says borcho (some say it without Hashem's name) if he found the hymen intact (and it seems some say it over a cup of wine)
see a disrespectful translation here (the shulchan aruch really respected the Rambam (see there) but still decided that there is an obligation to say it.

Comenteries on the brocho see prisha even ezer 63 and aruch hashulchan 63.10

regarding "caused them panic attacks" maybe if they have in mind that girls used to get married at 12 (the hymen was more intact (probably more pain)) it will help

regarding "break her hymen by herself in order to minimize pain" why would this minimize the pain? if there is a way to minimize the pain, maybe tell it to the grooms teacher .

regarding "shame upon consummating her marriage"
from a Torah/Jewish prospective, it is much more shameful if you do not have one,
(what shame are you referring to?)

Regarding you personally we support you, and wish you success and all good, and a keziva vhasima tova lshana tova umisuka for you and your groom
P.S. maybe if you have in mind that only G-d exist (ain od milvado) it will help you not to panic

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    "it is surely lowering her worth" Basically no one in the world nowadays cares about this. Just FYI. You're presenting it like it's a big deal when it's basically completely irrelevant. Most couples have no clue how much 100 or 200 Zuz is anyway and don't particularly care as it's just a formality.
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2016 at 2:13
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    Telling someone who is genuinely nervous about something that they are being absurd is really a terrible thing to do. Just because you don't share the concern or understand where it's coming from (never having been in that position yourself) doesn't mean the person's concerns aren't genuine.
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2016 at 2:20
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    Is it so hard to imagine that the Talmud's reference to a stronger emotional bond is to her first sexual partner, independent of her anatomy? That's the obvious Peshat. The hymen itself doesn't actually affect anyone's emotion. It's just a random vestigial piece of skin. The Talmud was using metaphoric language regarding the general case. Taking it hyper-literally to torment an emotionally fragile Jewess is simply mean.
    – Double AA
    Sep 27, 2016 at 2:23
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    we see that there even is halacha [sic] that the groom says borcho [sic] Assuming you meant to write "We see that that there is even a halakha that the groom says a berakha", then that is misleading (although not nearly as egregious as other points in your answer) as the Shulhan Arukh says that only some authorities mention this blessing; evidently he acknowledges that according to others it is a berakha l'vatallah and a disgusting embarrassment.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:15
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    @hazoriz I am not sure what you are trying to say. I was simply noting that you are a being misleading if you present the ShA as holding that something is the halakha when in reality he clearly implies that some disagree. That alone demonstrates a shortcoming in the answer. It happens to be that the ShA was presumably even aware that Rambam writes ברכת בתולים היא ברכה לבטלה בלי ספק מוסף על זה שזה מנהג מגונה מאד ואין ראוי למי שהוא ירא שמים להקהל בקבוץ ההוא בשום פנים. וכתב משה.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:32

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