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Vaginal itching and discharge - child

Pruritus vulvae; Itching - vaginal area; Vulvar itching; Yeast infection - child

Itching, redness, and swelling of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva) is a common problem in girls before the age of puberty. Vaginal discharge may also be present. The color, smell, and consistency of the discharge can vary, depending on the cause of the problem.

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Female reproductive anatomy
Causes of vaginal itching
Uterus

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Causes

Common causes of vaginal itching and discharge in young girls include:

Home Care

To prevent and treat vaginal irritation, your child should:

Teach your child to keep the genital area clean and dry. She should:

Your child should:

DO NOT try to remove any foreign object from a child's vagina. You may push the object back farther or injure your child by mistake. Take the child to a health care provider right away for removal.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your child's provider right away if:

Also contact the provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will examine your child and may do a pelvic exam. Your child may require a pelvic exam done under anesthesia.You will be asked questions to help diagnose the cause of your child's vaginal itching. Tests may be done to find the cause.

Your provider may recommend medicines, such as:

Related Information

Vagina
Vulva

References

Lara-Torre E, Valea FA. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology: gynecologic examination, infections, trauma, pelvic mass, precocious puberty. In: Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, Lobo RA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 12.

Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM. Vulvovaginitis. In: Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, eds. Nelson's Essentials of Pediatrics. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2019:chap 115.

Montano GT, Torres OA. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology. In: Zitelli, BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, Garrison J, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Diagnosis. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 19.

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Review Date: 1/10/2022  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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