Vaginal bleeding after the first few weeks of life and before puberty may be considered abnormal and warrants a visit to your child’s doctor.
In newborn girls, withdrawal bleeding may occur as a normal response to maternal estrogen leaving the infant’s uterine lining.
Pre-pubertal bleeding is any bleeding that occurs before a girl has reached puberty. Most causes of pre-pubertal bleeding are benign and/or self-limiting; however, it’s important to have your daughter checked out by a specialist.
Your daughter’s doctor will first ask questions about when the bleeding started, how long it’s lasted, if your daughter suffered a fall or other injury before it started, and if there are associated symptoms like itching, pain, or odor.
The doctor will then perform a physical exam, which may include checking for any breast or pubic hair growth. Young children may need to be sedated or given a local anesthetic for this exam.
If your daughter’s doctor suspects precocious puberty, he or she will order blood tests to measure her hormone levels and an x-ray of her hand and wrist to assess bone age.
If the doctor suspects a hemangioma, cyst, polyp, or tumor is causing the bleeding, he or she may order an ultrasound of your daughter’s pelvis and abdomen.
After these first few weeks, vaginal bleeding in young girls can have a variety of causes, including:
It is important to have your daughter checked out by a pediatric gynecologist.