Labial Adhesion

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Labial adhesions in 3-year-old

November 2006

My 3 year old has a fairly fused labia with only a small opening for her urethra, first diagnosed at around 18 months. She has suffered from the odd yeast infection/vaginitis which makes her itchy and sting but resolves with use of topical antifungals - nystatin, myconozole etc. I wanted to wait until she was out of diapers to see if the adhesions cleared up on thier own. It's been about 9 months now and there's been no change. Her incidents of ''itchy gina'' have been lessening but she recenly had a bad one that may have progressed into a UTI.

I am revisiting the idea of treating her with premarin lotion to open her labia, but am worried about the side effects (breast buds, mini periods) which my doctor says are unlikely if used for only a few weeks to months. To complicate things, my daughter is an avid masturbator, which is possibly how her labia fused in the first place. We have discussed being gentle, using clean hands (although she only seems to ''rub'' on the outside of her clothes), and of course the whole privacy thing. She definitely understands, but I worry she's still a little rough on herself.

Anyone have experiences using premarin to seperate fused labia? Anyone wait until puberty? Anyone know how to tame a vigorous self-pleasurer? Thanks very much anon

your daughter's labial adhesions are not the result of anything she has done. they can be from a number of things. the most significant and important thing to determine if it's from a condition called lichen sclerosis et atrophicus, which can occur in children and adults. this can be potentially serious as the adhesions can be permanent and can expand. it is treated with high potency topical steroid creams very successfully, which helps the adhesions and itching. i'd go to a dermatologist rather than your pmd as a derm is very experienced at diagnosing and treating this condition. topical estrogen creams are ineffective. best of luck!!! anon

Labial adhesion in 13-month-old

November 2003

At our last pediatrician visit in October the doctor noticed that our daughter (now 13 months) had a labial adhesion. I have not found too much info about it except that Sears saysthey usually clear up by the age of two when little girls start to produce their own estrogen. Our doctor suggested using an estrogen cream for a while. I am really resistant to applying hormones. There don't seem to be any studies on the safety or effectiveness of such use on babies and that concerns me. Any ideas/experiences?

My daughter was also born with labial adhesion and I used the estrogen cream once a day! for about a week and it cleared up very easily. I would recommend it. Of course you can also decide to wait and see if it goes on its own and/or decide later on what to do. valerie

My daughter had something similar that required a very short treatment of estrogen cream. I didn't want to use it any longer than necessary, so I made sure that the doctor would see her every week or so until it had cleared up. I don't remember how long it took, but I think it was within 3 weeks. anon.

Vaginal Adhesions in 4-month-old

October 2001

My daughter is four months old and at her last doctors visit he mentioned that she had a condition called vaginal adhesions. I did not remember him checking for this before during earlier office visits. He described it as a thin membrane that is connecting the labia minor and sticking them together. There is room for her urine to flow. He recommended a 1% hydrocortisone cream three times a day on the membrane. I have not been able to find any information on this condition. There is some advice on using estrogen cream but then the side effects are numerous. Does anyone have any information or experience with this condition. Dawn

Both of my girls (ages 4 years and 18 months) have vaginal adhesions. Like that of your daughter, the adhesions in both girls do not prevent the flow of urine. Over the years we have seen three different pediatrician. All three doctors suggested that we do nothing about this condition (since there is not an obstruction of urine). We could use creams to solve the problem, but most likely, the adhesions would reoccur. It is assumed that over time, when the hormone levels in our daughters naturally change, the adhesions will disappear. We are going to do nothing in the mean time. Gail

My daughter has this also. It's pretty common and nothing to worry about unless urine flow is blocked. Females begin producing their own estrogen at about two years of age, and that will open it up. My pediatrician recommended just putting in a smear of Desitin or some other diaper cream every few diaper changes to keep it from adhering further. We didn't talk about an estrogen cream -- and personally that seems to me to be too invasive an intervention. Christine

You might want to read the article about it on Labial adhesion: Here's a pertinent paragraph from the article: Normally, doctors prescribe a topical estrogen cream to treat the problem. Your doctor will tell you to apply this cream directly to the affected tissue, and in about two weeks it should unseal the labia. You'll probably start by applying the cream two or three times a day, then twice a day, then once a day. It's important to reduce the amount of estrogen cream you use gradually. If you just stop the treatment suddenly, the labia will close up again, says Shubin [a doctor quoted earlier in the article]. Dana

I'm the research editor at, and I wanted to point out our article on the subject at: . It occurs in about 2% of babies. I hope this helps. Mollie

My daughter had the same thing when she was 15 months old. It was discovered by our new pediatrician (that was the first visit with her). I don't recall seeing our previous pediatrician ever check for it. We used the estrogen cream. The side effect list was huge! But our ped said that we were using such a small amount that we needn't worry about it. She also said that untreated the adhesion can zip-up over the urethra and cause bladder infections (I had one once . . . bad - very bad). So, we went with the estrogen program, otherwise, my instinct would have been to let it resolve itself naturally when her estrogen levels kick into gear come adolescence. It took awhile (like a month or 6 weeks), the membrane thinned out and then one day it just pulled apart. Good luck. Cheryl

Our daughter had a vaginal adhesion that has just opened up. She is 2 1/2 years old. She was diagnosed with it when she was just a few months old. Her pediatrician told us to use diaper cream on the vaginal area all the time. At 5 months, she prescribed Premarin Vaginal Cream for 10 days. After that, we kept using the diaper cream there as told by her doc. Just a few months ago, the doctor told us to use the Premarin for 10 days again, that's when it opened up. I don't remember using anything else (applying 1% hydrocortisone cream to that area doesn't sound right). I felt ok using the hormone cream because the doctor reassured us that such a minute amount gets absorbed into their system - just enough to open up the adhesion. If the adhesion does not open up, the alternative is surgery.

The pediatrician recently got a new 12-year old patient from a doc that didn't keep a good check on the girl's vaginal adhesion - she had to have surgery. You might want to get a second opinion...good luck.