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.

Denver Pediatrics

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The care we've received from the team at Stapleton Pediatrics over the last 8 years, for both of our children has been nurturing, informative, responsive and exceptional. We love seeing all of our favorites including Dr. Brandon, Dr. Robin and Nurse Heidi. While the care is above and beyond, the greatest endorsement I can give is their support of our parenting and reassurances of the value of our natural instincts as parents. They coach and support, never condescend or over-rule. We'd be lost with you Dr. BDT! Colleen Apr 28,2015

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