Children's Hospital Colorado

Labial Adhesions

What causes labial adhesions?

Labial adhesion or labial agglutination occurs when the small, inner lips (labia minora) of the outside of the vagina (vulva) get stuck or fused together and cover the vaginal opening. Labial adhesions can range in severity from completely covering the vaginal opening to only partially covering it.

Labial adhesions typically occur in infants and young girls when estrogen levels are low and genital tissues are sensitive. Irritation from fecal soiling (commonly referred to as vulvovaginitis) is the most common cause of this condition. Irritation from soaps, wet diapers, diaper rash, infection or trauma can also cause this sensitive tissue to stick together.

Who gets labial adhesions?

Labial adhesions typically occur in infants and young girls before the onset of puberty. Once girls enter puberty and estrogen levels increase, labial adhesions are much less common, and the labia minora can sometimes separate on their own.