The narrow vaginal canal in youngsters is a source of infections, and these cover a strange range. Often worms from the back passage become “lost” there and set up irritation and infection. It may produce discharge and an intense itch. Or there may be a lack of personal hygiene, allowing germs to proliferate and cause similar discomfort, as well as unpleasant odours.
Infants, always exploring, and placing strange objects in strange places, often poke foreign bodies there. These may range from dried beans, peas, to pebbles or gravel, plastic bits from toys, to bits of rolled-up cotton or cloth. They have all been reported. They may produce a chronic irritation with a foul odour and discharge. Relief by removal is often dramatic. In some cases, it may be due to undiagnosed juvenile diabetes.
The immediate answer is to keep the area as clean as possible, and make certain normal hygiene is being practised by the child. This is really the responsibility of the parent, and many cases are due to neglect on their part. Many mothers do not think of the vagina or its hygiene at such an early age.
The doctor will check for foreign bodies, worms, infections, diabetes or any other possible cause. Investigations may need to be carried out. In nearly every case, with simple checks and treatment, a satisfactory result takes place.