Knowing how many hymenoplasties are being performed in Germany is difficult. They're usually paid for privately by the patient, which means they don't get recorded through health insurance. Doctors are also under no obligation to report how many they do. In the last five years, however, Günther has gone from performing roughly 10 to 15 a year to between 75 and a hundred. In other European countries, an increase in hymenoplasties is also evident. According to the National Health Service, 30 surgeries were recorded in the UK in 2009 - a 20 percent increase from 2005. The figure for operations that aren't covered and recorded by the healthcare system is expected to be much larger.
The number of hymenoplasty surgeries is also surging in France, where Christine had the operation in an upscale clinic near the Champs-Élysées Avenue. She's getting married this July and says the surgery, which she learned about through a television report, was critical for her.
"It's the tradition and my religion that have pushed me to do this because I know that when I get married, I have to get a virginity certificate and so my hymen has to be intact," she says. "I'd prefer to just simply admit that I'm not a virgin, but if I said that, heads would roll. I'd be disowned."