Should Your Child See a Doctor?
Genital Injury - Female
This Care Guide Covers
- 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.
First Aid for Bleeding
- Put a gauze pad or clean cloth on top of the wound.
- Press down firmly on the place that is bleeding.
- This is called direct pressure. It is the best way to stop bleeding.
- Keep using pressure until the bleeding stops.
- If bleeding does not stop, press on a slightly different spot.
When To Call Your Doctor
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
- Major bleeding that can't be stopped
- Fainted or too weak to stand
Go to ER Now If
- 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
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- 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 Your Doctor Within 24 Hours If
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent.
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- 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
Parent Care at Home If
Care Advice for Minor Genital Injuries
- Bleeding - How to Stop:
Cut or Scrape Treatment:
- 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.
Cold Cloth for Bruise:
- 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.
- 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.
What to Expect:
- To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
- Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
- Use as needed.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.
- Pain becomes severe
- Passing urine becomes painful or hard to do
- Your child becomes worse
Remember! Contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "When to Call" symptoms.
This information is not intended 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.
Copyright 1994-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.