Vulvovaginitis occurs in up to 75% of females before their first menstrual period and is one of the most common reasons prepubertal girls have to visit a pediatrician or pediatric gynecologist. By definition, vulvovaginitis means inflammation of the vulva and vagina. Signs of this may include vaginal discharge, odor or bleeding. Presenting symptoms may include external irritation and discomfort. Poor hygiene or topical irritants are the main source of problems, which may introduce common bacteria, such as E. coli, Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. Fortunately, this condition improves with education about proper hygiene measures.
Children are particularly prone to vulvovaginitis for several reasons: non-estrogenic state, proximity of the vagina to the anus, and common evidence of poor perineal hygiene. Additional history is important to determine the potential source of the problem. For instance, history of bubble bath use, type of detergents, cleansing soaps or chlorine exposure from swimming pools may provide clues as to whether particular chemical irritants might be associated with symptom timing.
Many young girls may begin potty training in the toddler years. Full Entry