Women are being offered controversial “virginity tests” at British medical clinics, an investigation by BBC Newsbeat and 100 Women has found.
The intrusive tests are considered a violation of human rights by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations, which want to see them banned.
Critics say they are unscientific, cannot prove whether someone is a virgin and can be a form of abuse.
The tests involve a vaginal examination to check if the hymen is intact.
The BBC investigation found a number of private clinics advertising “virginity repair” which, when contacted, also offered the so-called virginity test for between £150 and £300.
The BBC identified 21 clinics and managed to make inquiries with 16 of them, seven confirmed they offer “virginity testing” and several others would not clarify their position.
All said they would carry out hymen-repair surgery, which costs in the region of £1,500 to £3,000. Data from NHS England shows 69 hymen-repair procedures have been carried out in the past five years.
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