Deep Stuff - Our Labial Adhesion Story

So, this is something I haven't talked about yet but I feel like needs to be told because it's something I had never heard about, yet from all the research and googling I have done I know it's not too uncommon of an occurrence.  And I hope Silver will forgive me for sharing her story with the world.

When the PA was taking a look at Silver's lady parts at her 9 month checkup she made a discovery: Silver had a Labial Adhesion.

A what?

An adhesion on her vagina, which means that the inner lips of her vagina — her labia minora — had become stuck together with a clear-ish like membrane that seemed like should just separate, yet was fused together.

Now you want to talk about freaking a mama out, this totally did it for me.  Not to mention that at this appointment the PA had also discovered that Silver had her first and only ear infection.  Completely freak me out, worst doctor's appointment ever.

The PA prescribed us a hormone cream, Premarin, which I of course had plenty of questions about.  A hormone cream?  Really?  Is that safe?  Yes, the PA assured me, it's perfectly safe and better than the alternative - if the cream doesn't get the adhesion to open, when Silver gets older she will have to have it surgically separated.

So I take the PA's info for what it's worth, nodding at all the right times while thinking through my shock, oh my gosh I've gotta get home and start researching this.

And what exactly is Premarin?  Well, to put it simply it's:
PREgnant MARes' urINe

Hmm, the hormones of a horse soaked into the human body... That combined with that it's not approved to be used on children, it's for menopausal women, yeah, where can I get some?  Let's slather my daughter up with some of that, ASAP.

And, further to boot, "Parents should be aware that some girls, and even infants, will experience a small amount of breast development during treatment with topical estrogen cream because the hormone can be absorbed into the blood stream.  If this happens, consult your practitioner.  It may be reassuring to know that the breast tissue usually goes away once the estrogen treatment is stopped."

After learning more about labial adhesions, I found out that as long as the adhesion does not cover her urethra opening or she doesn't have a UTI, it's not dangerous, and that girls will eventually start to create their own horomones around 8-12 years old and that will cause the adhesion to go away on its own.

But, in the meantime, I also read that if the adhesion is severe enough, urine can get backed up in there causing the UTIs, and even making potty training difficult because the urine can dribble out long after the child has finished pottying.  That would be devastating for a child.

Oh my goodness.  So began the search for a natural remedy.  I couldn't imagine having bladder control problems all the way up to possibly 8+ years old.  That would just be terrible.  I wanted the adhesion gone, but no way in heck were we going to use the cream.

I found two great conversation threads on Mothering.com and BabyCenter.com.

I decided to first try Calendula cream.  I applied it a couple of times, but then Silver started teething so I decided to take a break and not put her or her body under any more stress.  I backed off for a month or so.

And then Silver started to crawl!  YAY!  And I get my first period post Silver.  There's just lots going on!  :)  I'm distracted from her problem and actually manage to put it aside for a little bit.  Finally I decide we need to get back to using the cream and take a look.  And, oh my gosh.  The adhesion had started to open.  ON ITS OWN.

A couple days later I look again, and it's GONE.

What can this be attributed to?  Was it that Silver started crawling and all the wiggling helped open it up?  Maybe.  Or maybe it was that my hormones had changed when I had my first period and I'm still breastfeeding, so those got passed onto her...  That's what I think it was.  I read this from a midwife on one of the conversation threads I shared and it makes sense to me:

"Hormones are in your breastmilk and reach your babies. Baby girls are often 'closed' and it is normal for breastfed baby girls. Like a couple pp's said, when their dd's turned 8 yo or so, it went away. Again, normal, because the girls have hit pre-puberty and make their own hormones. Adult doctors in Western medicine seem to think infant girls are supposed to be 'open' like adult women are, and that is just not true."

If the adhesion hadn't gone away on its own, we would have proceeded with the Calendula.  If that didn't work we would have moved to flax oil which is a little more aggressive.  But, flax oil works because it is a phytoestrogen - which means it exerts hormonal effects.

Praise God it went away on its own!  At our one year appointment the PA was surprised to hear it went away on its own without the use of the cream... :)


  1. Not sure if you are still writing this blog, but thank you for this entry. I found you through my google search. My daughter developed labial adhesions at 3 months old. She is now 16 months, and I noticed a tiny opening a few days ago. Today...adhesion completely gone! I've been paranoid something weird/bad happened at her babysitter's. Reading your blog entry, I realized that my period just returned the other day for the first time since her birth. I'm thinking the delay is due to the fact that I am still breastfeeding her. Now I'm convinced, just as you wrote, that is related to hormones and my period returning. I would never have thought of that. Thanks again! Hope you see this!

  2. Anonymous23.8.12

    I agree with Sam. This post was so comforting to me as well. My daughter is three months old and I was about to use the hormone cream when I started researching a more natural route.

  3. I am SO glad to hear that this post helped you guys. Wonderful! Thank you for letting me know. And Sam, glad that your daughter's fixed itself too! Best of luck to you Anonymous - hope some time is all she needs.

  4. Anonymous10.10.12

    WOW thank you so much for sharing this! At my pediatrician's office I just discovered my 4 month old had this. She recommended using Vaseline after each diaper change and if it's not open by her next appt (in 2 months) then they're going to give me the estrogen cream. I am not keen on using either Vaseline OR an estrogen cream - THANK YOU for relating your experience! I will try the Calendula oil.

  5. I am wanting to cure my daughters labial adhesion naturally also, where an I find calendula cream?

  6. marysia21.11.12

    Yes! Thank you so much for this entry.. I too was google-ing natural alternatives to the vaseline my dr. recommended for my 6 month old daughter. I went home and applied the calendula oil right away.. Keva- you can easily make your own by buying dry calendula flowers, putting them in a jar, and covering them with an oil, such as organic olive oil, or jojoba, etc. Let it sit in a dark place for 6-8 weeks (the longer the better), shaking when you remember. I am an herbalist, by the way. You can also probably find some nice organic calendula oils or creams handmade on etsy.

    1. My daughter is still having this issue even after the estrogen cream i will definitely try this instead! thank you.
      P.s. it maybe because I'm not constant with the cream...but who would be..its terrible

  7. unfortunately for me, my periods started back when all four of my kids were 3m old. my daughter is 11m and i just noticed her adhesion. she is still breastfeeding. i'm confused because somewhere i read Dr. Sears quoted as saying babies start to develop estrogen at age 2. i'm going to look into that more. everywhere else has been saying they don't develop it until puberty. sigh. :(

  8. Anonymous12.11.13

    My 4 months daughter has diagnosed with labial adhesion during her 4 months dr. visit. then her pediatrician prescribed premarin. After coming home, I started doing homework about it and decided not to use premarin. So, I started using only Vaseline couple of times a day and also keeping her mostly diaper free ( just bought earth best chlorine free for night time only) and then after around 2 weeks, I can see it's opening up. I am really happy now.

  9. My 20 month old has this as well. I noticed it early, probably around 3 months. I breastfed her untill 15 months, but never got my period until after I stopped breastfeeding. Now her adhesion is pretty severe. The doctor prescribed the cream, but i think I will look into this calendula (never heard of it!) but I am just really resistant to the idea of the hormones. So THANK YOU for your post :)

  10. Anonymous21.5.14

    Good to know. I'm very scared to use the premarin cream on my 8 month old... so the calendula cream worked? Im going to try it. How many times a day did u apply it?

  11. is there a difference between estrace and premarin

  12. Would you recommend using the essential Calendula oil ? if so do you use it straight or mix with say olive, flax or jojoba oil?? or can i use brand Wedela or California Baby Calendula cream? they make cream and rash calendula cream...which would be best do you think? My daughter is 5 years old and has had fused labia since 3.5 yrs and has never bothered her so i leave it be for when she makes her own hormones since i shall never use the hormone cream on her. But if a natural cream such as this Calendula works i would like to try it. Let me know!

  13. Anonymous5.7.15

    Ty for all the insight! Definitely very helpful. FYI...my Dr said she notices labia adhesions on girls with chunky thighs...just from them rubbing and not letting enough air in. My 9 month old has some chunky thighs and has just been diagnosed with a labia adhesion. The Dr said it should clear up when she starts crawling or walking. She also prescribed premarin. I had no idea where it came from. So gross. I came across this looking for natural alternatives. Thank you again! :)

  14. Not sure if you will see this or not.... So happy i found this. My daughter isn9 mo the, still breatfeeding, I just got my period this week and we were just told at her 9mo the check up that she had a Kabila adhesion. I'm wondering which calendula cream you used. California's baby has k e or do i need calendula oil essential oil?

  15. Right there with you all! So happy for the conversation. My 15mo just got diagnosed and the pharmacy called to say it was $340! WHAT? My doctor said, forget it and just do some vaseline for awhile and see how it goes. But now I'm headed to the nature store for some calendula! Thanks all!

  16. Hello, I found this thread about a year ago after my daughter was told at her 2 year check up that her adhesions were back and was prescribed estrogen. I started using calendula cream on my daughter instead after seeing this post. It didn't work for us. I just had her 3 year check up (with a new doctor) and the adhesions are still pretty bad. She told me to get Burts Bees "non petroleum" vaselein. I'm going to give it a shot.

  17. Anonymous29.5.17

    Hello! Great article! I also came across that forum with the midwife about breastfed babies while looking into the same thing. Found out recently my daughter had the same at her 18mo check up at a new peds office so I hadn't ever noticed before. I felt so bad. I don't know how long she has had this. I do have to mention, that I was pregnant in Sept, had a miscarrriage, got pregnant again right away, and another miscarriage in late December. I've now had normal periods since end of Jan. I still breastfeed my 18mo old and I have had my period since 9weeks pp w both my kids. Can all my hormones be so out of whack from all this and be a possible cause? I'm also feeling bad that she could have already had it and I never noticed :-( As of today, i switched to chlorine free natural diapers, thinking of cloth diapers too, wiping with wet cloths instead of wipes (unless poops), warm baths and a dab of coconut oil. I also just ordered organic calendula. I don't really wanna "pull" or "stretch" anything because I do feel I should just let her body do what it knows to do but of course I get anxiety thinking UTI's - ughh the struggles of being a very concerned and worried mommy - how's everyone else's daughter's improved? I know this post is older.