Should Your Child See a Doctor?
Genital Injury - Female
Is this your child's symptom?
- Injuries to the female genital area labia, vulva, vagina
Types of Genital Injuries in Females
- The genital area in girls is protected. Serious injuries are rare.
- Minor injuries can cause lots of bleeding because of the rich blood supply.
- Cut. Minor cuts or scrapes heal quickly.
- Bruise. Bruises and swelling of the labia are most often from a straddle injury. They heal quickly.
- Hematoma Blood Clot. Bleeding into the labia can form a pocket of blood hematoma. A small clot will go away on its own. A large clot may need to be drained.
- Vaginal Laceration Serious. Any penetrating injury of the vagina needs to be examined. There may be a cut or tear of the vagina. The main symptom is pain and bleeding that won't stop.
- Urethral Injury Serious. This is not seen in females with external injuries. It can occur with pelvic fractures. The main symptoms are bloody urine and trouble passing urine.
- An injury to the groin from falling on an object that is being straddled.
- Examples are playground equipment, crossbars of a bike, or a fence.
- Girls usually get a bruise or small cut of the outer labia. The vagina and urethra are protected by the labia and not harmed.
When to Call for Genital Injury - Female
Call 911 Now
- Major bleeding that can't be stopped
- Fainted or too weak to stand
Call Doctor Now or Go to ER
- Skin bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
- Bleeding from inside the vagina
- Pointed object was put in the vagina, then taken out
- Foreign body in the vagina and can't get out
- Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
- Pain or trouble passing urine
- Blood in urine
- Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
- Age less than 1 year old
- Could have been caused by sexual abuse
- You think your child has a serious injury
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent
Call Doctor Within 24 Hours
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Call Doctor During Office Hours
- Dirty cut and no tetanus shot in over 5 years
- Clean cut and no tetanus shot in over 10 years
- Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
Estimated Urgent Care Wait Times
These are estimated wait times for each Urgent Care clinic. Wait times are typically longest during the first hour we are open and may not be reflected immediately in the online wait time. Wait times may also vary depending on the severity of the illnesses we are treating.
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threating, call 911.
Care Advice for Minor Genital Injuries
- Bleeding - How to Stop:
- For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
- Note: Minor cuts in the genital area can bleed a lot. This is because of the rich blood supply.
- For the same reason, the cut heals quickly.
- Cut or Scrape Treatment:
- Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
- For any dirt, scrub gently with a wash cloth.
- Put on an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed. Use 2 times per day.
- Cold Cloth for Bruise:
- For bruises or swelling, put a cold wet washcloth on the skin.
- Use once for 20 minutes, but only if tolerated.
- Reason: Helps reduce the bleeding and pain.
- Pain Medicine:
- To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product such as Tylenol.
- Another choice is an ibuprofen product such as Advil.
- Use as needed.
- What to Expect:
- Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Passing urine becomes painful or hard to do
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Last Reviewed: 10/20/2014
Last Revised: 10/20/2014
Copyright 1994-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.