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Estrogen as an initial treatment for symptomatic labial adhesions

The initial treatment of choice for symptomatic labial adhesions is :
A) testosterone cream
B) estrogen cream
C) GnRH antagonist
D) hydrocortisone cream
E) surgical separation

Answer and Discussion

The answer is:   ( B ).
Labial adhesions are common in prepubertal females. The cause is thought related to low levels of circulating estrogen. Most women with small areas of labial adhesions are asymptomatic. However, interference with urination or accumulation of urine behind the adhesion can lead to discomfort and symptoms. Dysuria and recurrent vulvar and vaginal infections are associated symptoms. In rare situations urinary retention may occur. Asymptomatic labial fusion usually does not require treatment. Symptomatic adhesions may be treated with a short course of estrogen cream applied twice daily for 7 to 10 days; this may separate the labia.

A new alternative treatment is to use estrogen transdermal patches in close proximity to the labia. When medical treatment fails or if severe urinary symptoms exist, surgical separation of the labia is indicated. This can be done as an office procedure using 1% to 2% topical xylocaine gel. Because of inadequate levels of estrogen, recurrences of labial adhesion are common until puberty. Following puberty, the condition usually resolves spontaneously. Improved hygiene and removal of vulvar irritants may help prevent recurrences.

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