I’ve gotten a lot of interesting questions over the past year, but I think this one wins the prize for uniqueness. While I doubt many of you can relate to our advice seeker’s problem, I hope you will read and enjoy.
My daughter, 16, mentioned to me a few times that she couldn’t use a tampon. I did not really think anything about it until she recently came to me freaking out saying “Mom I cannot use a tampon, it won’t go in I swear to you there is not a hole there!” I rolled my eyes and said there has to be a hole there because you have your period, right?
I made an appointment with a gyno and took her. The long and short of it is THERE IS NOT A HOLE THERE…sort of. She is about 1 in 77,000 people born with a transversal vaginal septum. We have had an MRI so she does not have anything weird going on down there, she was just born with a membrane covering her vagina. Her TVS is incomplete so she has a very small opening the size of a q-tip allowing for a menstrual flow BUT she cannot have sex unless she has the fortress that is blocking her vagina surgically removed.
The doctor said she is fine and that the surgery can be done at any time of our choosing thus squarely placing our daughter’s virginity in our hands. I have asked around to see what people would do in our situation and I have gotten a lot of “I would wait until she is 18” and even some “I would wait until she is engaged, you are so lucky because you can guarantee your daughter’s purity in marriage.”
My daughter has a very serious boyfriend who is about to go off to college so I may wait until the boyfriend is off at school then have it done. My husband and I lean towards having it done as soon as possible because, after all, it is her sexuality we are talking about here.
How about it, what would you do if you had a child who cannot physically engage in sex until having a surgery that you control when it happens?
Have fun with this one!
Dear Georgia Mom:
Please wait while I pinch myself. I must be dreaming – this is by far the best question I’ve ever received. Sorry, everyone else.
I did some internet sleuthing and discovered this article describing the surgery your daughter needs. Readers, click the link and check it out – it’s fascinating.
When I read that some of your friends suggested you make your daughter wait to have the surgery until she is engaged, I spit out my coffee in laughter (you owe me a keyboard).
Your friends do realize that once your daughter reaches the age of majority she can do whatever she wants, right? And do they know that girls are not owned by their parents until they marry/sell her to a man who then assumes both ownership and control of the woman?
Seriously, what kind of people are these? While I understand you live in Georgia, I have to assume you aren’t writing me from a time machine that transported you back to 1815. Besides their incredibly outdated views on women’s rights, who in the world would argue against kicking the tires a few times before you drive the car off the lot?
The age of majority in Georgia (“majority in Georgia” – doesn’t that just trip off the tongue!) is 18, meaning that your daughter cannot consent on her own to have this surgery until she reaches that age. However, when I messaged you with one simple question I received the answer that drives my response to your dilemma independent of the age of majority in your state.
I asked you: what does your daughter want to do?
You replied that she wanted to have the surgery for a few reasons, most important of which was that she couldn’t use tampons and that was becoming a monthly problem, especially since she teaches gymnastics and swimming in the summer. No parent wants to drop their kids off with a teacher having a crime scene in her leotard/swimsuit.
Next I asked you what kind of kid she is – is she a good kid who studies hard and stays out of trouble? In other words, the exact opposite of me at her age? You responded that she is on the honor roll, an all-conference athlete and a student leader who shuns the party scene. She’s been in a longterm relationship with the boy next door (both literally and figuratively!) and he is a good kid too.
She’s a good girl. I think you can trust her to make this decision wisely and to take care of her body appropriately should she decide to become sexually active. I don’t see her getting the snip job and ending up the town scupper, pregnant and dropped out by the end of the year. You’ve raised her well, so why wouldn’t you allow her to deliberate the choices that everyone else has the opportunity to make?
Well, everyone else except those 1 in 77,000.
If she were much younger and not yet experiencing the monthly need to ride the cotton pony I would advise you wait, but your daughter is old enough to have this operation and be wise in her actions once the ultimate chastity belt has been removed. If you haven’t done so already, please start talking to her about birth control and the importance of safe sex.
Or, slip the surgeon an extra 500 bucks to install an IUD while he’s in there.