Women who cannot afford to get their hymens surgically re-attached in Canada prior to marriages in their cultural country of origin have a less expensive option: they can order one in the mail.
Starting at just $29.95, women can order a false hymen online, shipped from China.
The imports are officially banned in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, but women in North America and Great Britain are a fertile market.
"We have many urgent requests from women, begging us for urgent delivery before their wedding night," says Mike Munro, with the Hymenshop.com. The online store opened in March 2010, and sells a couple thousand per month.
"There are some cultural notions out there that the ordinary person cannot just challenge and try and change them without paying a very dear price and in some case with their own lives."
In Canada, some young women from predominantly Muslim backgrounds are desperate to appear as virgins, fearing they could be killed by their families if they do not have an intact hymen on their marriage beds after arranged marriages in their cultural home countries.
Some are getting plastic surgery in Canadian private clinics to re-attach their hymens.
The mail-order version is a thin film containing a packet of red fluid. The website advises to insert the film 20 minutes prior to sex in order to mimic the breaking of the hymen and showing the required "blood."
The parcels come with alternate markings from generic sounding companies, evading interception.
"Woman belonging to these sorts of cultures will have to work around these notions if they wish to have a safe and 'normal' family lives and we provide them with this opportunity." says Munro.