Straddle Injury/Genital Trauma
What Is a Straddle Injury or Genital Trauma?
A straddle injury/genital trauma occurs when a female hits the vulva or perineum (external female genitalia) on an object and the force generated by the weight of her body causes an injury. This can occur during a fall or accident.
The vulva includes the labia minora, labia majora and clitoris. The perineum is this space between the vaginal opening and the anus.
Most straddle injuries cause trauma to the vulva and perineum. Rarely are the hymen or vagina injured.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Straddle Injury?
Girls who have sustained a straddle injury typically report pain and may have bleeding, bruising or swelling. Young girls with a straddle injury or trauma to the genitalia may have pain with urination or difficulty urinating.
How Are Straddle Injuries Treated?
Treatment depends on the extent of the injury. It is important to get a good exam of the vulva, perineum and vagina. In most cases, this can be done while the patient is awake. However, there are some cases in which the patient may need to be sedated to do a thorough exam to determine the extent of the injury.
Many times a straddle injury does not require any surgical repair. The provider may recommend the following for aftercare/comfort:
- Tub soaks in a bath of warm water
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Ice packs
- Estrogen cream applied to the vulva to help the skin heal
If there are cuts/injuries that need repaired, this can be done under sedation. The stitches will dissolve on their own.
The vulva and perineum typically heal very well and straddle injuries will likely have no long-term consequences.
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