Labial Adhesions

What Are Labial Adhesions?

Labial adhesions, or labial agglutination, occur when the labia minor (inner lips of the vulva) are stuck together, covering the vaginal opening. This condition is relatively common, causes no harm, and typically resolves on its own.

What Are the Symptoms of Labial Adhesions?

Labial adhesions typically do not cause any symptoms. Sometimes the adhesions can cause urinary symptoms like “spraying” the urine when they are voiding or dribbling after voiding as the urine gets trapped behind the adhesions. They are most commonly identified by parents or clinicians when the perineal area is being cleaned or examined.

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What Causes Labial Adhesions?

Young girls have very low levels of estrogen causing the labial tissue to be very fragile. Any irritant against this tissue (diapers or pull-ups) can cause the tissue to become inflamed and lead to labial adhesions.

How Are Labial Adhesions Diagnosed?

Labial adhesions are diagnosed by doing an examination of the perineum. A confirmatory examination is important to rule out other abnormalities. Labial adhesions are isolated and not associated with other gynecologic problems.

How Are Labial Adhesions Treated?

The vast majority of girls with labial adhesions have no symptoms and do not require treatment as the adhesions will resolve on their own once the irritant is removed and girls start making estrogen from their ovaries. For patients who are having symptoms, removing irritants, soaking in warm bath water, and using topical corticosteroid or estrogen cream can help resolve the adhesions.