PARENTS may ask themselves what their first course of action should be if their girl child (pre-pubertal) experiences any gynaecological health issues or is being affected by itching or burning.
Dr Katrien Dehaeck, a leading gynaecologist at Vincent Pallotti Hospital who specialises in paediatric gynaecology and is a consultant at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, said: “As a mother, you may not be sure whether your child needs to be checked out by your local doctor or a gynaecologist, but there are specific symptoms that I would always recommend be checked out by a gynaecologist.”
If your girl child is experiencing a chronic vaginal discharge - especially if there is blood or bleeding involved, a strong smelly vaginal discharge or lumps, bumps and warts - they should be taken seriously and she should see a paediatric gynaecologist.
“Your daughter could also be experiencing an itch or burn that can be caused by a variety of factors.
“Most commonly, if a girl has an itch, doctors diagnose it as candida.
“This is not generally something that little girls get, as their vaginas are still too alkaline
“So I would recommend seeing a gynaecologist if she gets diagnosed and prescribed candida medication before going ahead with the treatment.”
As precautionary remedies for itches and burns in the genitalia, it is worth getting your child dewormed and to ensure that her hygiene is optimal, but avoid washing with strong soaps and bubble baths.
Dehaeck says that as some girls are still too small to wipe properly from front to back and may get faecal contamination, it is wise for parents to assist their children to ensure they are cleaned properly.
“My overall advice would be to take note of these symptoms, especially if they persist.
“We occasionally see girls with foreign objects in the vagina, or even labial adhesions where the labia minora are stuck together and it seems there is no vaginal opening even though there is.
“These are problems that can easily be sorted out once properly diagnosed, but mostly little girls do not need to ever see a gynaecologist.
“There is enough time later in life for that,” adds Dehaeck. - Staff Reporter