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Foreign Body in Vagina: An Uncommon Cause of Vaginitis in Children

Author(s): Chinawa JM, Obu HA, Uwaezuoke SN

Vaginal discharge in children may result from a variety of causes. A long‑standing intra‑vaginal foreign body can pose both diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in children. Treatment failure may occur because of alteration of the normal vaginal flora. A 6‑year‑old girl, who lived with her parents, presented with a foul‑smelling, blood‑stained vaginal discharge as well as dysuria for 2 years. There was no history of sexual abuse. Initial evaluation that excluded gynecologic examination revealed lower abdominal tenderness. Vaginal swab and urine cultures yielded Staphylococcus aureus sensitive to ceftriaxone only. She was commenced on this antibiotic for 2 weeks, but the discharge persisted, necessitating referral to the gynecologist. Examination under anesthesia by the gynecologist revealed shreds of toilet tissue paper extracted from the vagina and slight excoriations on the wall of the vagina. Vaginal foreign body can present with diverse symptoms. It should be considered in any young female patient presenting with recurrent or persistent vaginal discharge.

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