Sometimes, the labial skin around a girl’s vagina becomes irritated and sticks together. Adhesions may be mild, closing only part of the vaginal opening, or cover the complete vaginal opening, blocking urine or vaginal secretions.
Labial adhesions are usually not concerning, but should be treated. We may prescribe a cream to help adhesions heal.
Labial adhesions occur mostly in girls between 3 months to 6 years of age. The adhesions can continue until puberty.
- Pain in the genital area
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urinary tract (bladder) infections
- No symptoms
It is not clear why some young girls develop labial adhesions. The condition may be associated with:
- Low levels of estrogen (that girls normally have during childhood). Infant girls who have just been born don’t have labial adhesions because of high levels of estrogen passed from the mother during pregnancy. High levels of estrogen from puberty make it unlikely for menstruating girls to develop adhesions.
- Vulvar irritation can result in the labia sticking together.
- Evaluation of the vulvar area and vaginal opening
- Small or mild adhesions (those that do not cover the vaginal opening) may separate by themselves when your daughter reaches puberty.
- Slightly larger or moderate adhesions (those covering the lower part of the vagina) may be treated with a mild emollient along with gentle separation twice a day for several weeks.
- Significant adhesions (those covering the vaginal opening and often the urinary opening) are typically treated with an estrogen-containing cream. Significant adhesions may prevent normal vaginal secretions drainage, as well as impair urine flow.