A labial adhesion is not something that many of us have heard about. It is a fibrous growth found to be present among some newborn girls, where the inner lips of the vagina appear to be joined or fused together.
What is a labial adhesion?
A pale, thin semi translucent membrane in the vaginal region is an indication of the presence of a labial adhesion. They start from the posterior region and advance towards the clitoral region.
This is a condition that can develop in a baby as early as 3 months and may only be detected upon a thorough medical checkup being performed by the pediatrician.
In order to diagnose a labial adhesion, a number of other vaginal abnormalities have to be first ruled out, such as a urethral disorder, an imperforate hymen or the presence of another vagina.
What are the symptoms of a labial adhesion?
A labial adhesion may be largely asymptomatic and may cause no discomfort or pain of any sort. And since there are typically no discomforts associated with this condition, doctors often advice that the adhesion be left untreated.
One of the few symptoms that may actually manifest themselves with a labial adhesion is the possible pooling of urine in the vaginal area when the baby passes urine. This pooling could leak out later when the child stands or shifts position.
What causes a labial adhesion?
It is generally thought that an absence of sufficient levels of estrogen is responsible for the formation of the adhesion, which generally forms in older infants (older than three months, most typically in toddlers) rather than newborns.
Vaginal inflammation, tissue injury or trauma and irritation in the area could also be possible causes of labial adhesions. In rare cases this could also be the result of sexual abuse, which is associated with lacerations or hematoma.
What is the treatment for labial adhesions?
The condition is seen to resolve itself in most cases, by the age of puberty, when the increase in the amount of estrogen the body produces is usually seen to dissolve the fibrous growth.
If treatment is required, a topical estrogen cream could help to dissolve the adhesion though this may not be a permanent treatment. Labial adhesions that have been treated have been seen to return later.
Meanwhile good hygiene and the use of gentle soap are recommended. Keep the diaper area dry and clean, if possible air the area each day and don’t ever try to resolve the labial adhesion on your own.