Controversial 'Viriginity Checks' Offered At UK Clinics For £300
Controversial 'virginity' tests are being offered to women at medical clinics across the UK, according to an investigation by the BBC.
The tests - which are not scientifically backed - are intrusive and said to be a breach of human rights.
Both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations want them to be banned as they are often used as a form of abuse.
It involves an examination to check if a woman's hymen is intact and cost between £150 and £300.
Not only are the tests being offered, it was also found that some of the clinics offered a 'virginity repair' service.
The BBC found 21 clinics, with seven of the 16 asked confirming they would carry out both procedures. The hymen-repair surgery costs between £1500 and £3000, with data collected by NHS England showing that 69 of the procedures have been done in the last five years.
Newsbeat heard the stories of women who had the procedures forced on them by their families, as part of arranged wedding rules.
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It was also found that kits that claim to repair the hymen - which can be broken without having sex - are being sold online for £50. One of them had a 60ml package of 'vagina tightening gel', tweezers, a blood capsule and sachets of fake blood. It had no instructions with it.
Karma Nirvana is a charity that helps victims of 'forced marriage' and the abuses that come with it.
Priya Manota, manager of the helpline, told the news outlet: "We have received calls from girls who are concerned about this. It might be that they are worried their families have found out perhaps they've been in a relationship or they're not a virgin. It might be family are pressuring them to go through with tests and they are concerned about the outcome of that."
The BBC also spoke to Dr Ashfaq Khan, a gynaecologist who has had requests of this nature.
He said: "I don't understand why it is not illegal in the UK, it should be made illegal.
"The whole idea the absence of part of the hymen means you're not a virgin is wrong first of all. It can be torn for various reasons, and if I was to say 'it is torn, I need to repair it' and then I can give you a certificate, that means I am giving a false certificate."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: UK News
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