Original Report| Volume 34, ISSUE 2, P130-134, April 2021

Comparison of Short-Duration and Chronic Premenarchal Vulvar Complaints

Published:November 23, 2020DOI:


      Study Objective

      To compare clinical characteristics, treatment histories, and microbiology of premenarchal girls who presented to a pediatric gynecology specialty clinic with short-duration and chronic vulvar symptoms.


      Retrospective cohort study.


      Pediatric and adolescent gynecology clinic at a tertiary care children's hospital.


      One hundred eighty-two premenarchal patients ages 2-14 years who presented to a pediatric gynecology specialty clinic with vulvar complaints and who were evaluated with a yeast and/or bacterial culture.



      Main Outcome Measures

      Chronic and short-duration vulvar symptoms, microbiology, and diagnosis.


      Patients with chronic symptoms were more likely to present with itching (59/102 (57.8%) vs 34/80 (42.5%); P = .04), redness or rash (53/102 (52.0%) vs 22/80 (27.5%); P = .0009), and discomfort (59/102 (57.8%) vs 30/80 (37.5%); P = .006), compared with patients with short-duration symptoms. Overall, 44.5% of patients had a history of antifungal treatment, with a greater proportion of patients with chronic symptoms having received antifungal treatment compared with those with short-duration symptoms (53/102 (52.0%) vs 28/80 (35.0%); P = .02). Despite a history of antifungal treatment in nearly half of the patients, Candida albicans was isolated in only 3/144 (2.1%) yeast cultures. Bacterial vulvar cultures were positive in 75/159 (47.2%), and there was no difference among the symptom duration groups (38/71 (53.5%) vs 37/88 (42.1%); P = .15).


      Vulvovaginitis is a common gynecological diagnosis among premenarchal girls with short-duration and chronic vulvar symptoms. Regardless of symptom duration, yeast cultures are rarely positive. Antifungal treatment should be avoided in toilet-trained prepubertal girls.

      Key Words

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