Malaysia's leading plastic surgeon Dr. V. Surendranathan has revealed that more and more women are undergoing operations to get their hymens 'repaired'.
He even revealed that most of the girls approaching doctors for the purpose were in their 20s, and were foreign students studying in Kuala Lumpur colleges.
"The girls don't come alone (for the consultation and surgery). They come with their boyfriends or a trusted girlfriend," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
Dr. Surendranathan pointed out that a lot could happen when a student left home to study abroad.
"And when these girls come here -- either with their boyfriends or they befriend local guys -- some of them engage in penetrative sexual acts," he said.
He also highlighted the fact that most of such students belonged to communities that require a girl to be a virgin for various cultural and religious reasons.
"To them, having the hymen intact is not just an important marriage commodity -- their very lives depend on it," he said.
The consultant plastic surgeon said though officially discouraged in France, the demand for the operation is increasing day-by-day from Muslim women who fear the consequences of being unable to prove their virginity on their wedding night.
Dr. Surendranathan revealed that it just takes 30 minutes to repair a woman's hymen through surgery, and that this trend has started to catch up with Malaysia's local university students also.
He, however, insisted that it is not only sexual intercourse that may rupture the hymen.
"The hymen is fragile and can be easily torn, not necessarily through penetrative sex, but also rigorous physical activities like cycling or running, or even after a fall," he said.