Infant vaginal exams - Mothering Forums

Infant vaginal exams

basje's Avatar basje (TS)
04:06 AM Liked: 10
#1 of 57
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Anyone one else a little uncomfortable with the amount of vaginal exams given by the ped's office? My daughter is eight weeks old and she's had appointments at one day old, week and half, 3 weeks, and 2 months for well baby exams mostly to make sure she is gaining weight. Each time they have done a vaginal exam, pulling back her outer labia, spreading her inner labia and getting a full view of her clitoris.

I myself did did a vaginal exam after she was born to check for intersexed conditions (I UC'd) to find everything exceptionally typical. I'm assuming that is what the ped's office is doing as well. But I am beginning to question the continued exams... everything is normal and they note that in the chart.

Anybody have thoughts on this?
Lindsay1234's Avatar Lindsay1234
04:11 AM Liked: 5
#2 of 57
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Im uncomfortable too. They do them at all of my 11 month old dds appts. She also sees a urologist and they did it once there too. The first one was REALLY uncomfortable for me, especially because it was a male doc but at the WBV now the doc (female) checks for maybe half a second and I think she mainly checks for a bad rash.

Is there a reason they are doing such a thorough job? Has she had a UTI or bad rash?

Are you comfortable with the doc in general? Can you mention that it makes you uncomfortable, maybe they can do them less often or unless something come up.
Momalea's Avatar Momalea
06:23 AM Liked: 10
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That strikes me as really odd. My dd is 9 now, so my memory is fuzzy but I only remember her having one quick visual vaginal exam soon after she was born.
You're totally in your right to tell your health care practitioner that she has had a vaginal exam, she is having no issues, and you'll decline any future exams unless there is a medically necessary reason.
Maluhia's Avatar Maluhia
06:29 AM Liked: 20
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It's to check for adhesions which get much worse with time and are easier to treat if caught early. Less painful in the long run.
emamum's Avatar emamum
08:14 AM Liked: 16
#5 of 57
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i'm in the uk so its different but i cant remember anyone but the midwife that delivered her even looking at her vagina!

my friend recently had a baby without the internal bits of her vagina and has to have them made for her so obviously there is a reason for it but that was found at birth.
mrscompgeek's Avatar mrscompgeek
10:17 AM Liked: 0
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My Ped has never even taken DD diaper off!!I have never heard of them giving a exam down there on babies? That seems odd to me.
CrunchyChristianMama's Avatar CrunchyChristianMama
11:16 AM Liked: 50
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Our ped will unhook one side of the diaper and take a quick look for rash and that's it. No touching or anything. I would not be comfortable with that.
transylvania_mom's Avatar transylvania_mom
11:20 AM Liked: 203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
Our ped will unhook one side of the diaper and take a quick look for rash and that's it. No touching or anything. I would not be comfortable with that.
same here
Auraji's Avatar Auraji
11:22 AM Liked: 5
#9 of 57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momalea View Post
That strikes me as really odd. My dd is 9 now, so my memory is fuzzy but I only remember her having one quick visual vaginal exam soon after she was born.
You're totally in your right to tell your health care practitioner that she has had a vaginal exam, she is having no issues, and you'll decline any future exams unless there is a medically necessary reason.
Same here. I do go to a family doctor. They never take her diaper off, the one time I was telling him about a diaper rash and he asked me if I wanted to show him. Just looked, no touching, no anything.
nola79's Avatar nola79
11:52 AM Liked: 41
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dd's ped has never taken her diaper off, either. She was checked out at birth, and so far she's only had a 2 week well visit and a 2 month.
Now, my son's ped (different time, different state) did take his diaper off and check his testicles and for rash.
laohaire's Avatar laohaire
12:01 PM Liked: 473
#11 of 57
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I've taken DD to 2 pediatricians and 1 family doc over the years. They have all "peeked" under the diaper/underwear, but never touched anything. I am really confident that I would have noticed and remembered if they did, partly because of MDC's CIC board, I just tend to think "if I had a boy, right now I'd probably be having a struggle with the doc."

OP, you have the control here, you can tell the doc that the diaper/underwear stays on from now on. You are obviously a strong mama, you can take yourself off the leash.

Hmm, I might be really reaching here, but does the pediatrician know or have reason to suspect you are queer? (reading from your sig) Is that why the unusual interest in your daughter's genitals? Ticks me off to even consider that possibility...
womenswisdom's Avatar womenswisdom
12:04 PM Liked: 174
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The ped takes a look at the genitals of my dd at each visit. My understanding is that they are looking for early signs of labial adhesions. It doesn't really bother my dd and it doesn't really bother me.
Pepper44's Avatar Pepper44
12:07 PM Liked: 40
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We see a family doctor also. At the first exam he checked DD by spreading the labia and looking closely and he explained it was to check for adhesions.

The other couple of well child checks we've gone to he has just glanced down her panties...I assume to check for rash or glaring signs of abuse or whatever else, but it wasn't a big deal because he announced before he was going to do it and it literally was like a one second glance.
BunnySlippers's Avatar BunnySlippers
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That would bug me and I would say its not necessary. I am sure you would notice if anything is 'off' when you change her diapers (unless you EC).

Im reaching in my memory...Midwives did not look in dd's vulva or vagina. They did rotate her hips to listen for clicks.
Took dd to family Dr. when she was oh I forget, it was either 6wks or I waited until she was 2 months old. . to get her on his books so that if we needed a Dr in the future she would have one. He asked me if the midwives checked her hips, I said yep. I do not recall him taking off her diaper. But he did take off her shirt and listened to her heart. And noted how sturdy and well-fed she looked for a breastfed baby
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
Our ped will unhook one side of the diaper and take a quick look for rash and that's it. No touching or anything. I would not be comfortable with that.
I agree. I have three girls and no doc has EVER done that to any of them. I would probably slap them.
Miasmamma's Avatar Miasmamma
12:24 PM Liked: 11
#16 of 57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post
The ped takes a look at the genitals of my dd at each visit. My understanding is that they are looking for early signs of labial adhesions. It doesn't really bother my dd and it doesn't really bother me.
Both of my girls have had small adhesions from about 2 or 3 weeks on. My older DD's is gone now, but my younger still has her's. Our GP just checks the younger one at every visit to make sure that it's not getting worse.
atlantafemme's Avatar atlantafemme
01:06 PM Liked: 11
#17 of 57
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My DS's testicles and foreskin were examined the first few ped visits but his diaper has stayed on ever since--maybe 2 months was the last check. Anyway--your ped may be checking for adhesions but if you're uncomfortable with it, you're within your rights to decline.

As an aside, we had two ER visits in the same week when my DS was around 7 months. During the first, I was so freaked out, I didn't question anything the docs were doing even though it felt like torture--blood draws, IV fluids, etc. By the 2nd trip, I gained my footing and refused when they asked me not to BF again until 8am (at midnight) and when they wanted to give him another IV. Their main reason for these things: "It's procedure." I said, "Well I'm his mother and I have the right to refuse these things." I think they were shocked. Now I question all "procedure."
Tjej's Avatar Tjej
01:32 PM Liked: 75
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I think it can be a normal thing for them to do. Our family doctor checks the kids privates at each visit until they are about 2yo. The doctor was open about it and talked to the kids about it and quick and all that. I didn't really like it either, but it didn't bother me or the kids enough for me to feel a need to intervene.

Tjej
mamazee's Avatar mamazee
01:35 PM Liked: 6460
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Both my girls have always been checked for adhesions at visits.
jeliphish's Avatar jeliphish
01:40 PM Liked: 292
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I think it's fairly normal and protocal for labial adheasons. They occur, I guess with enough frequency to warrant checking each visit throughout the first year. Our pedi stopped checking DD1 after 12 or 18 months I think.
leighann79's Avatar leighann79
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I would be uncomfortable with such a check. A quick look, maybe. But not like you describe.
mamazee's Avatar mamazee
02:54 PM Liked: 6460
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Even a quick check for a labial adhesion would have to involve spreading the labia to see if there is an adhesion. I'm surprised all pediatricians don't do this, as it seems like an important thing to check for. It isn't sexual. It's just a part of the body that often has a specific problem at that age. I expect them to look in my dd's ears, too.
intrepidmother's Avatar intrepidmother
03:01 PM Liked: 13
#23 of 57
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My DD never gets vaginal examinations. I'm totally uncomfortable with the idea. It'd be different if they asked before administering them and you had the opportunity to process the idea before it happens. It might be legit, but it sounds a little excessive to me.
Cherry Alive's Avatar Cherry Alive
03:16 PM Liked: 10
#24 of 57
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My dd is 13-14 months and never has had any exams like that. The doctor takes off her diaper to quickly check for diaper rash and that's it. He was trained by and works for Hopkins so I really think he'd be on the up and up if it was necessary. My feeling is it's an obsolete and invasive procedure. If I ever encounter any one who attempts to that to my daughter while she's a child (without there being a really good reason) we'll be firing them.

Vaginal adhesions are rarely a big deal. Most go away on their own by the time the child is an adult (usually waaaay sooner), and they don't really need to be separated unless the little girl is having difficulty peeing or getting infections. I've read a lot experiences of parents having their DDs' labias torn by doctors during these exams (to remove adhesions) without warned or told—leaving a bleeding and/or crying baby.
1stBabyAt39's Avatar 1stBabyAt39
05:17 PM Liked: 0
#25 of 57
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I would also be uncomfortable with such an exam.

At each of DD's well child visits, her pediatrician (a female) unhooks her diaper & takes a quick peek to check for diaper rash or anything else out of the ordinary, but she doesn't touch her or look too closely.
ssh's Avatar ssh
05:19 PM Liked: 58
#26 of 57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
Our ped will unhook one side of the diaper and take a quick look for rash and that's it. No touching or anything. I would not be comfortable with that.
This.
hakeber's Avatar hakeber
06:25 PM Liked: 200
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The ped has never done this with my girl either. Just a peak at her bum and between the thigh rolls to check for rashes. But she is only just 3 months, and the peak age for this condition of adhesions is not until after that time and more specifically between 13 and 23 months.

I am not sure why a doctor would check before that time, maybe being super vigilant? But it seems it is asymptomatic for most babies, so I am not sure most doctors would check unless prompted by the parents.

I would not be worried so much from the POV of sexual abuse as much as from the POV that any adhesions could be torn, like when the doctors try to retract the foreskin, causing pain and risk of infection...so I would be concerned and ask them to leave the vaginal inspections of my infant up to me and if I saw anything out of the ordinary, I would let them know.
Mamabeakley's Avatar Mamabeakley
06:44 PM Liked: 29
#28 of 57
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I wonder if OP's DD's pediatrician has noticed an adhesion or other irregularity and is following it, but failed to discuss it with the OP. Otherwise, I can't see why such frequent checks would be necessary, assuming that OP is regularly changing diapers and cleaning the area.

DD (8 mo) is my first daughter, so this whole topic was educational to me - but I can't imagine that I would fail to notice a significant adhesion should one occur!

I am getting ready to tell the Dr. that she can't examine DS2's testicles at his upcoming 4 yo physical - he is EXTREMELY modest and would totally freak out at the idea - and we know they're descended (since he's okay with me & DH & DS1 seeing him naked but NO ONE else.)
Juvysen's Avatar Juvysen
08:23 PM Liked: 42
#29 of 57
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hmm... seems like our ped did examine DD like that but I don't really remember. FWIW, my niece's vaginal opening is apparently nearly completely closed up with what I have to guess are adhesions... she just turned 3. No clue what that will mean for her, though...
Just1More's Avatar Just1More
08:32 PM Liked: 146
#30 of 57
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Hmm...when we took dd they said it was to check for abuse...

That's a toughie. Cuz if I say "hands off" it looks like I'm hiding something, and if I don't say anything, then I'm sacrificing her privacy.

They always check ds, too.

But...we aren't regulars, maybe a once a year check up, maybe.

I still don't like it, but I always feel trapped.

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