Anonymous Mom: My Baby Daughter Developed Fused Vagina Syndrome

73783503Being a first time mother can and most times will prove to be challenging, and at times quite frustrating. There are so many new realities a new mom has to adjust to, from giving birth””which not always develops as thoroughly planned””to breastfeeding (how much, when, how), to diaper changing, sleep patterns, GERD syndrome, or colic. These are only a small part of the thousands of milestones a mother has to face many times on her own.
Particularly for a single mother, the otherwise beautiful early days of motherhood could turn into the hardest experience of her life, leaving behind a bitter taste.

Thorough planning and seeking proper support from mom groups or specialized networks, on both internet and off the virtual world, would have such a great contribution in passing through these tough times with your head up””leaving behind beautiful memories of this unique experience motherhood is.

Even though you’ve covered every aspect of motherhood, surprises always come along, sometimes not the type one would love to experience. One of those hard times for us was discovering a rather uncommon condition our daughter has started to develop around three months old. It’s called fused vagina syndrome. No one, doctors included, has heard of it and obviously could not offer the support we desperately needed.

The fusion of the labia minora (as is scientifically named) is a result of labial adhesions, diagnosed in girls six months to six-years. It’s thought that between one and 10 percent of little girls develop this condition. I would say shockingly that 99.99 percent of parents have never heard of this condition. It can be caused by diaper rash, infections, and irritants that cause chronic inflammation of the labia; some baby girls just seem predisposed to it, simply because their estrogen levels are lower than the norm. Occasionally, the inflammation is the result of chronic sexual abuse! Some girls are prone to forming adhesions, no matter how careful the parents are, and I am one to testify that’s entirely true.

The condition looks like a smooth membrane over the vagina with a thin, pale line at the center, usually leaving a sufficient opening at the front to permit urine and vaginal secretions to exit. The first time our daughter developed the condition, it had a rather quick development within a couple of days, making it really easy to overlook. It is not excusable for parents, but parents are also human. When they face many other health issues that seem more important, like GERD or colic, a totally out-of-the-blue fused vagina syndrome can be left in second place.

Our doctor was completely in the dark; in 30 years of experience with children, he’s never seen such a condition. Luckily for us, we have eventually managed to find a specialist, a pediatric surgeon that just happened to finish a study on fused vagina and had the chance to put that in practice with our daughter. As the doctor was stating, the condition is in fact quite common. It happens as mentioned pretty often. However, because of its delicate aspect and considering the taboos modern society is still leading its course by, the syndrome is kept under an undeserved obscurity. Thanks to this fear, parents like us have to go through a tremendous amount of stress that could easily be avoided through more exposure on this subject, particularly on websites specifically dedicated to parenting and children.

An open mind should be the main guideline when it comes to children’s health and development.

Some doctors prescribe estrogen cream, but the side effects are quite worrisome””like increased breast size and nipples and, once stopped, vaginal bleeding. In our case, the fused vagina syndrome could only be solved through a surgery: a rather small, not painful incision on the membrane, followed by regular use of a very thick topic cream, applied on a daily basis to the genital area. However, this has not entirely resolved the issue as approximately a year afterwards, our daughter developed the condition again with the same results and the exact same method of treatment. Although all conditions are met (i.e. she’s out of diapers, we use mild soap to wash the area, she hasn’t had a rash ever since the diapers are gone, the petroleum gel is applied religiously, etc.), she is still vulnerable to this condition.

At this point, we are being told we could expect to deal with this issue for a few good years until our daughter’s body develops the power to fight the condition on its own. This will most likely start when her hormones are able to find a balance.

Until then, it’s our duty as parents to be extra vigilant and take action before things complicate dramatically (i.e. trapped urine can cause urinary infections) and use our voice and pen to raise awareness on this issue. It’s not something we should be ashamed of. It is nature, and it’s all about our children’s health. No parent should live the nightmare we had to go through because of lack of knowledge and information.

(Image: getty images)

Similar Posts