Swelling, urinary tract infection, empty scrotum, hydrocele, foreskin infection, vaginal thrush, inguinal hernia, balanitis and swollen genitals after birth are some of the genital conditions in infants that every mother should know.
Taking care of your little baby becomes your priority, but what if you are unaware of certain conditions which must be taken care of. The problems in the genital area of infants generally go unnoticed. So learning how to take care of the genital area of babies so as to prevent any problem in that sensitive region of their body or the ways to deal with any problem that may arise in the region becomes very important. Here is a guide to tell you about some genital conditions that may arise in your baby’s genital region.
7 Most Common Genital Conditions in Infants
Urinary Tract Infection
UTI is a bacterial infection caused in the urinary bladder, kidney or the urethra which may occur mainly due to the bacteria that gets in the urinary tract from the urine or faeces. The general symptoms of urinary tract infection is fever and pain while urinating.
Treatment for UTI in Babies
The only way to prevent UTI in infants is to maintain proper hygiene. Their diapers should be changed after short intervals, the genitals areas should be cleaned properly and the you must make sure that they should not wear a dirty diaper for long.
UTI is common in babies who are not potty trained UTI can be diagnosed by testing a sample of the child’s urine. This condition can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
Swollen Genitals in Infants
Swollen and red genitals is a very common condition in infants at the time of birth. This may be a result of the extra surge of hormones from the mother’s body to the infant just before birth or the long or traumatic labour period. Newborn babies also have a lot of extra fluid stored in the body which makes some regions such as the area around the face and the genital area appear puffy. This is a very common condition but can be a reason of panic in some mother’s who are unaware of this condition.
If you see some swelling in the genital of your newborn baby, rest assured it is nothing much but accumulation of some extra fluid. Sometimes there is a small amount of vaginal discharge in some baby girls which may cease to occur after some days. Above all, once the baby is born he is given through checkup, so in case there is some problem, the doctors will sense it.
If you notice some redness, swelling, an unusual odour and pain in the penis of your baby boy, you need to consult the doctor as soon as possible. These could be the symptoms of Balanitis, that is, an infection or inflammation on the tip of the penis. This condition may arise due to nappy rash or insufficient cleaning of the area or excess cleaning of the genital area. Some medicines can also cause this problem.
Treatment for Balanitis
Cleaning the penis with warm water and then applying anti- inflammatory or anti- fungal cream is the best way to treat balanitis, but you must consult the doctor for prescription. Your boy will get better within a week, but if this doesn’t happen, doctors may recommend a circumcision.
Hydrocele in Newborn Babies
Hydrocele is the condition in which there is a buildup of fluid around the testicles of the baby. This may happen if the sac surrounding the testicles does not close properly prior to his birth. Sometimes, it is also the effect of inguinal hernia, that is, a lump in the groin region. Hydrocele can make the scrotum of the baby appear red and swollen causing a lot of pain.
Treatment for Hydrocele in infants
Hydrocele generally disappears within a year of birth as the fluid is absorbed by the body, but in case it stays longer or increases in size, it can cause a lot of pain to the baby and has to be removed by surgery.
Vaginal thrush is a fungal infection which is caused in baby girls due to the overgrowth of candida which is present on the skin or in the gut. The common symptoms of thrush are vaginal discharge,redness, itchiness, swelling and white or yellow thrush spots in your baby’s mouth. The overgrowth of candida which causes thrush is caused by several factor such as pH imbalance, or it can be transferred from the mother to the baby through the nipples while breastfeeding.
Treatment for Vaginal Thrush
In order to cure vaginal thrush doctors prescribe antifungal spray, oral probiotics or topical creams. Thrush is a condition which requires immediate consultation from the doctor. Also, in order to avoid such condition you must use gentle pH balanced products for your baby and and allow her to have some nappy-free sleeping hours.
Undescended Testicles or Cryptorchidism
The testicles of a baby boy are formed in his abdomen and slightly before his birth it descends in the scrotum. In some cases, one or both the testicles do not descend in the appropriate position before the birth this leads to empty scrotum. This condition is called undescended testicles or cryptorchidism.
In some cases, during cold weather the testicles tuck up in the abdomen but descend when the temperature is normal. This condition is not a matter of concern unless the testicles remain in the scrotum most of the time.
Treatment for Cryptorchidism
Cryptorchidism does not need any treatment as the testicles usually move into the scrotum naturally within six months of birth. But if this does not happen then a hormone therapy is prescribed or a surgery is performed within the age of six month and two years to avoid any fertility issues in adulthood.
Foreskin Infection in Infants
You should consult the doctor immediately if there is redness, pain and swelling on the tip of the penis or white lumps under the foreskin as these are the symptoms of foreskin infection. Baby boys who are uncircumcised after birth generally face this problem when the foreskin is stuck in a place and cannot be pulled back over the tip of the penis.
Treatment for Foreskin infection
Usually antibiotics or antibacterial ointments are prescribed by doctors in such conditions.
The genital areas of babies are very delicate and should be properly taken care of or else the above mentioned conditions can cause problem to your little one. The genital areas should be cleaned properly with warm water, nappies should be changed after short intervals and if any unusual symptoms appear you must consult the doctor. Happy parenting!
Undescended Testes and Retractile Testes, by Ronald Rabinowitz, MD, Professor of Urology and Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center,Jimena Cubillos, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Urology and Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
common genital conditions in newborns