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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.

Straddle Injuries

  • 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

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 or Seek Care Now

  • 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 object 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 better 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 more than 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in more than 10 years
  • Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor genital injury

Call 911 Now

  • Major bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Fainted or too weak to stand

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • 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 object 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 better 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 more than 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in more than 10 years
  • Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor genital injury

Care Advice for Minor Genital Injuries

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.
  6. 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 health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

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