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Vaginal Discharge in Infants

more about Vaginal Discharge in Infants

  • Very young baby girls (less than 3 months old) often have a vaginal discharge and may sometimes develop vaginal spotting or bleeding.  Both conditions are temporary and normal.
  • These changes are caused by exposure to maternal estrogen, a hormone that crosses the placenta and enters the baby's bloodstream before birth.
  • Because a newborn baby's body takes longer than an adult female's to remove this hormone, it remains after birth.  This hormone has the effect of making a newborn's body "think" that she is in puberty, and discharge and bleeding occur.  As the hormone levels drop, the effects disappear.

  • Vaginal discharge:
    1. Usually thick and cheesy in character
    2. Present, starting at birth
  • Vaginal bleeding:
    1. Several spots or drops of blood found in the vaginal area or in the diaper
    2. Occurs as hormone effects are decreasing, several weeks to months after birth

  • No treatment is necessary; both of these changes are normal in a female infant.

  • Special considerations -- consult your pediatrician if:
    1. The amount of the discharge increases
    2. The discharge becomes foul-smelling
    3. The bleeding occurs more than a few times, or in large amounts
    4. You have any concerns

more about Vaginal Discharge in Infants

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