Labial fusion or adhesions

Labial fusion or adhesions

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About labial fusion

Your daughter's external genitals are called the vulva. The vulva has inner lips (labia minora) and outer lips (labia majora). The labia cover your daughter's vaginal opening.

Labial fusion is when the skin of the inner lips joins together. This changes the way this part of your daughter's body looks, and it can sometimes mean that the opening for wee gets smaller.

Young girls between six months and two years old tend to get labial fusion more than older girls, but it can happen in older girls too.

Labial fusion is also sometimes called fused labia or labial adhesions.

Although some babies with ambiguous genitalia have fused labia, this article doesn't cover ambiguous genitalia.

Symptoms of labial fusion

Labial fusion usually doesn't cause any issues or pain for young girls.

Sometimes, young girls with labial fusion might dribble after they wee, because wee gets trapped behind the skin that is joined together. This can lead to wee leaking onto the girl's underwear or difficulties with toilet training.

Girls also sometimes have vulvovaginitis.

When to see your doctor about symptoms of labial fusion

There's usually no need for your daughter to see a doctor about labial fusion unless:

  • your daughter experiences frequent symptoms of vulvovaginitis, like a red or sore vulva
  • you're generally worried about her labial fusion.

Labial fusion doesn't affect your daughter's fertility, sexual function or menstruation.

Treatment for labial fusion

If your daughter has labial fusion, she probably won't need treatment. The condition is likely to sort itself out by the time she reaches puberty.

Good toilet habits can help with dribbling after weeing. Encourage your daughter to wriggle around for five seconds after a wee to make sure all the trapped wee comes out.

Causes of labial fusion

We don't really know what causes labial fusion. We think it happens after the skin around the vulva gets irritated.