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A Modified Sitz Bath Helps with Mild Vaginal Irritation

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 06-11-2007

A common symptom in preteen girls is pain with urination. Although it is
important to consider a urinary tract infection (UTI) in this situation, the
following conditions cause painful urination because they irritate the tissues
around a child’s urinary opening. These conditions are also more common than
UTIs.

  • Poor hygiene (or wiping in the wrong direction)
  • Bubble baths
  • Prolonged bathing where a child washes herself and then sits in a soapy tub
  • Staying in a wet bathing suit for long periods of time during the summer

If your child has mild urinary symptoms without fever, vomiting or abdominal
pain, you can consider trying to relieve her vaginal irritation by cleansing her
bottom before taking her to the doctor. (Although it is helpful for dads to know
about this problem, moms should usually be the ones to assist their daughters
with treatment.)

Fill an 8- to 12-ounce plastic bottle with warm water (it is important that the
bottle has a “nozzle” on top to so it will produce a stream of water when
squeezed). Have your child sit on a toilet with her legs spread and her labia
majora retracted. Position the bottle a few inches from the vagina and shower
the tissues with water. Do the procedure twice a day for a couple of days. If
the symptoms increase or do not improve quickly, see your doctor.

 —

Howard J. Bennett, M.D.