Objectives: Premenarchal girls commonly seek care for urogenital symptoms, yet little is published about parents' and girls' perceived causes of symptoms or associations with irritant exposures. We sought to describe urogenital symptoms, perceived causes, and associations between symptoms and genital irritant exposures. Design: Descriptive study. Parents/girls interviewed; medical records reviewed. Participants: Five- to 12-year-old well, premenarchal girls and their parents. Setting: One urban and 1 suburban pediatric practice. Outcome Measures: Prevalence of histories of urogenital symptoms and perceived causes; association between symptoms and exposure to genital irritants in a well population. Results: Of 191 parent/girl dyads, 33% of parents and 48% of girls reported girls' histories of urogenital symptoms not attributed to urinary tract infections or trauma. Perceived causes: poor hygiene (29% of parents vs 14% of girls); soap products (20% of parents and girls); none identified (24% of parents vs 53% of girls). Analysis of symptoms versus irritant exposures demonstrated these associations: dysuria and genital soreness with poor genital hygiene, tight garments, or exposure to soap products; genital pruritus with poor hygiene (all P < .05). No symptoms were associated with nylon underwear, tights, or bike or horseback riding. Vaginal discharge was not associated with any irritants. Conclusion: Almost half the girls had histories of urogenital symptoms. Poor hygiene and soap exposure were perceived causes of most symptoms. When no cause for urogenital symptoms is identified, treatment should be focused on hygiene, soap exposure, and tight-fitting clothes, not on bike or horseback riding or wearing nylon underwear or tights. Vaginal discharge warrants further evaluation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology