Children’s vulvovaginal conditions
Children’s vaginal problems are quite common, but when they strike, can be quite frightening for the child and her caregivers due to a lack of experience and the right language.
Children do not suffer the same conditions as adult or teenage women, as the vagina has no oestrogen, hardly any bacteria at all, and very little of anything much going on – in fact, a girl’s vagina is like her menopausal future self’s vagina. Just a little less wrinkly!
Kids are less equipped to deal with vulvovaginal issues due to communication barriers, being taken seriously, and the potential for abuse, so be gentle and supportive. See your paediatric gynaecologist or paediatrician if you are worried.
Learning vaginal and vulvar anatomy is a great place to start when learning about your child’s vagina. Teaching your daughter to name her body parts is important, and making sure she feels comfortable asking a question or telling you when something is wrong is really important. Proper language can make all the difference in a time of trouble.
Here you will find help and information for understanding the various problems your child may encounter with her vagina, vulva, urethra, bladder, and anything and everything in between.
A good place to start is Gynaecology in children and babies
Vulvovaginitis and children’s vaginal infections
There are a number of common causes of vaginal discharge and irritation in girls, with the main issues being hygiene and foreign objects like toys or toilet paper. There are a collection of common infections that kids get into their vaginas, often from poor toilet hygiene.
Anatomical differences or abnormalities
You may realise at some point that your daughter’s vagina or vulva seems different to other girls’, or that she exhibits difficulty or pain doing normal activities like going to the toilet or wearing underwear. While every child is different and has their own unique preferences, if your child is having a hard time doing normal tasks, but doesn’t complain (or appears to have pain or discomfort), it can pay to get her examined.
She may have internal differences that could be affecting her ability to get around in the world easily, or may affect her fertility in future.