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Labial Adhesion in Children: Care Instructions


The labia are the small lips around the opening of the vagina and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body. Labial adhesion means that those lips have joined together instead of staying apart.

This is common in girls, especially those younger than 6 years. It often causes no symptoms and will go away by itself. But it may cause symptoms such as pain or urinary problems. If so, you can treat it with a prescription cream.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Don't try to separate the labia yourself.
  • Keep the groin area clean and dry. If your child is old enough, teach your child to wipe front-to-back after using the toilet.
  • Protect the skin in your child's groin area:
    • Have your child wear cotton underpants during the day.
    • Wash your child's underpants in non-detergent laundry soap. Don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
    • Don't give your child bubble baths. The soap can irritate the skin.
  • If your doctor has prescribed a prescription cream, follow the doctor's directions about how often to apply it and how long to use it.
  • After the labia separate, use petroleum jelly or a diaper rash cream for 1 to 2 months. This helps keep the labia lips from joining again. For infants and toddlers, use the jelly or cream with each diaper change. For older children, use it once a day.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has symptoms of a urinary infection, such as:
    • Blood or pus in the urine.
    • Pain (for example, constant squirming and irritability, complaining of burning or pain when urinating).
    • A fever.
  • Your child has vaginal discharge. This can be a sign of infection.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • There is no change in the adhesion after several weeks.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.