Prepubertal Vaginal Bleeding
What Causes Prepubertal Vaginal Bleeding?
There are several different reasons why a pediatric patient may experience vaginal bleeding. Some of the most common causes are listed below:
- Vaginal infection
- Foreign body in the vagina
- Precocious (early) puberty
- Genital trauma/injury
- Tumor/mass of the vagina or cervix
- Urethral prolapse
- Ovarian cyst or mass
- Sexual abuse/sexually transmitted infections
In the U.S., the average age of the first period (menarche) is 12 years old. If your child has vaginal bleeding earlier than that, it is important you notify your health care provider.
What Symptoms Are Common With Prepubertal Vaginal Bleeding?
Girls with prepubertal vaginal bleeding may also have the following symptoms:
- Vaginal discharge (with or without odor)
- Painful urination
- Signs of puberty (breast development, pubic hair development, vaginal discharge)
How Is Prepubertal Vaginal Bleeding Treated?
It is very important you notify your health care provider if you notice your child is having vaginal bleeding. Your health care provider will ask questions about the bleeding, do a physical exam and may order imaging (i.e. ultrasound and lab work).
Sometimes it is necessary to look into the vagina; in young patients, this may be done under sedation. Treatment will depend upon the underlying reason why the bleeding is happening.
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