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Vulvo Vaginitis


Vulvovaginitis is infection or inflammation of the vagina or vulva in infants or young girls. It involves Vagina; vulva (vaginal lips) and skin around the genitals.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Itching, redness and pain around the genital area
  • Vaginal discharge, which may or may not smell bad
  • Pain/ discomfort while urinating
  • Bleeding from the affected area (sometimes).


  • Infections caused by bacteria; worms including pinworms; and fungi; or viruses
  • Allergies to synthetic fabrics, soap or other items in contact with the genitals
  • Scratches, abrasions or genital injury from insertion of foreign bodies in the vagina by the child or a playmate
  • Genital injury from sexual abuse (you will be surprised to know how common this is. Beware of leaving your girl child alone with a male servant, whatever faith you may have in him).

Risk Increases With

  • Sprinkling too much of talc on vagina, it caking with urine causing excoriation of skin underneath
  • Leaving wet diapers on
  • Infrequent bathing or unsanitary living conditions.


  • While toilet training - Teach the child to wipe from the vagina toward the anus, after every stool
  • Don't let the child sit around in wet clothing
  • Don't use
  • Provide the child with cotton panties or nylon panties with a cotton crotch--not panties made of non-ventilating materials
  • If antibiotics are prescribed for any reason, curd may help reduce risk by preventing vaginal yeast infections
  • Teach your child to resist and report any attempted sexual contact by an older person.

Diagnostic Measures

  • Repeated symptoms
  • History and exam by a doctor
  • Laboratory culture and microscopic exam of the discharge (rarely).

Possible Complications
Psychological trauma if the condition is caused by sexual abuse.

Probable Outcome
Usually curable in 10 days with treatment.


General Measures

  • Follow suggestions under How to Prevent
  • Remove the source of any irritation or allergy, such as soap
  • Don't try to remove a foreign object from the vagina. This may be painful or cause further injury. Take your child to the doctor for removal
  • If urinating causes burning, the child may urinate while bathing or urinate through a toilet-paper roll or plastic cup with the end cut out. This prevents urine from stinging inflamed skin.

Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Medication appropriate for the infection, including antibiotics, antifungal or deworming drugs
  • Topical ointments / lotions to relieve pain and itching

Contact Your Doctor

  • Your child has symptoms of vulvovaginitis
  • You suspect your child has been sexually abused
  • Symptoms don't improve in 7 to 10 days or symptoms worsen, despite treatment
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or swelling develops.
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