How do you prove the blushing bride is a virgin on her wedding day? Look for blood on the sheets the morning after. At least that's the case in some Islamic and Hindu communities - an intact hymen is ultimate proof of pre-marital virginity. The need to be seen as a virgin compels some young women to go through hymen reconstruction. But new Dutch research shows that hymenoplasty doesn't cause the desired bleeding during nuptial night intercourse. According to the researchers, it's better to educate and empower women on the topic.

One of the researchers involved in the study is psychologist-sexologist Bianca van Moorst at Sint Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam. "My colleague from the Amsterdam Medical Centre and I were both amazed by the way that requests for hymen reconstruction surgery were handled," says Ms van Moorst.

"Some gynaecologists say: 'No problem, we'll perform the operation.' While others say: 'No, that's unethical and contributes to the oppression of women.' Moreover, nobody was even certain whether hymen reconstruction actually works. That's why we set up the study."

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