Genital trauma is defined as any injury to the female genital area – including the labia, vulva and/or vagina. Most cases of genital trauma occur accidentally and involve bruising, swelling and/or minor cuts that heal within a few days. Even minor cuts in this area can cause significant bleeding because of rich blood supply.
Straddle injuries are the most common genital trauma in females. They occur when a child sustains an injury from falling on an object that is being straddled (playground equipment, bike, arm of chair, bathtub side, etc.). Girls usually get a bruise or small cut on their outer labia. The vagina and urethra are protected by the labia and are generally not harmed in these cases.
If the child falls on a blunt or sharp object, penetrating injuries to the vagina can occur. These injuries can be mild or serious and often require rapid examination by a doctor. Rarely, genital trauma can be a sign of abuse.
Your child’s doctor will ask about your daughter’s symptoms and how the trauma occurred. The doctor will then conduct a thorough physical examination, and may perform additional tests including:
For genital trauma (especially straddle injuries), treatment may include: