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Ethical issues in hymenoplasty: views from Tehran's physicians
  1. Azal Ahmadi
  1. Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Azal Ahmadi, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA; azal.ahmadi{at}


Hymenoplasty, practiced in societies wherein a woman's virginity signifies honour, is a controversial surgery raising a multitude of ethical issues. There is a dearth of research uncovering the views of physicians who perform hymenoplasty, especially in sexually conservative cultures, such as Iran. Interviews were conducted with five Iranian physicians who perform hymenoplasty to determine their ethical views on the surgery. The interview findings suggest that Iranian physicians risk punitive consequences if they are discovered to be offering hymenoplasty. However, some continue to cautiously perform the procedure out of a moral obligation to protect the welfare of women seeking it, even if they are personally conflicted about the surgery.

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Women
  • Iran

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