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.
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... :)
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