25% increase in 'virginity repair' operations on the NHS among Muslim brides in UK.
A growing number of Muslim brides are having "virginity repair" operations before marriage.
The NHS carried out 116 hymen replacement operations between 2005 and 2009, it emerged today. There were 30 last year - up 25 per cent from the 24 in 2005.
Private clinics in London, which charge between £1,850 and £4,000 for the half-hour procedure, are also reporting a surge in demand.
Doctors say that the trend is being driven by young Muslim women having secret operations for cultural rather than medical reasons.
The patients are under pressure from future husbands or relatives, who insist that they should be virgins on their wedding night.
Consultant gynaecologist Dr Magdy Hend performs hymenoplasty under local anaesthetic at his Regency Clinic in Harley Street. He said: "Sometimes now, we get two or three women a day wanting it. Demand has tripled."
A Department of Health spokeswoman said the operations were only carried out "exceptionally to secure physical or psychological health".