It is fairly usual for young girls to have some discharge from the vagina. This is because most of the discharges are caused by germs and fades away with time. However, the feeling of a persistent irritation with a thick discharge should not be ignored. This could have the implication that a serious infection may be the cause; hence, requiring appropriate and quick medical attention. A persistent vaginal discharge also warrants medical examination. When you visit the doctor, they will conduct a thorough examination of the vagina and the discharge as well. Educating yourself about the possible causes of toddler vaginal discharge can help you better cope with the problem.

Possible Causes of Toddler Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal culture is very important in setting the pace for the diagnosis and treatment of the condition because it provides the type of the bacteria causing the discharge. A pediatrician, nurse practitioner or a gynecologist can perform the examination in their office without causing trauma to the child. A swab or a catheter is used in collecting the vaginal secretions. Below are some common causes of vaginal discharge in your toddler:

1. Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis is generally the inflammation of the vulva together with the vagina. This is the most common infection affecting young girls.


Most of the infections in young girls are not from sex since most of them are unaware of that. Most of it is as a result of foreign object and substances getting their way into those areas. This is worsened by the fact that most of them have no pubic hair which can prevent and protect them. For this reason, chemicals, soaps, toilet papers and clothing can cause the irritation. It is worth noting that most young girls have no estrogen to protect the lining of the vagina. This makes the vagina to be acidic favoring the development of bacteria. Inappropriate peeing positions and pinworms can also lead to Vulvovaginitis in toddlers. 


Besides toddler vaginal discharge, your daughter may scratch or rub her genitals. She may also start walking or sitting in a very uncomfortable way. She may tell you of the condition soon and you can see that her genitals are either swollen or red. She will tell you it hurts when she pees. 

Treatments/ Remedies

The doctor will examine your young daughter’s previous medical reports and her genitals. Once proven that it is the condition then the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Warm baths will also be recommended to ease her pain.

When to see a doctor

You should contact the doctor immediately you notice some persistence of the itchiness and the pain that your daughter is feeling in her genitals.

2. Yeast Infection

According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three quarter of all adult females have had the experience of having genital candidiasis. This condition is commonly referred to as the yeast infection. This kind of infection can also occur in your toddler girl.

The major cause of this infection has been found to be yeast Candida that is present in the body every time. It only becomes an issue if the yeast multiplies in number. Their growth is triggered when there is a change in the body’s hormonal balance or when the acidity of the body changes.


  • Improper Toilet Habits. Some study shows that young girls are likely to suffer from the infection especially when they are learning to wipe after utilizing the toilet. In most cases, when the infection is new one can notice it easily. The itching can be so severe that the girl begins to scratch herself. It is from this scratching that she can get other bacterial infections. When this happens and is not prevented at the right time, the scratched area could bleed.
  • Recent Use of Antibiotics. Antibiotics used to fight certain diseases have been found to kill some bacteria in the process. This implies that if your toddler had taken some antibiotics and then suffers from the yeast infection, there is a very high likelihood that an imbalance of the yeast population has been created and is responsible for the infection. The lack of the good bacteria could also be the triggering factor.


  • Inflammation and Itchiness. The initial signs of a yeast infection is when the area around the labia becomes not only itchy but also inflamed. As a parent you should take the most appropriate steps in dealing and addressing the issue.Another sign that you should look out for is a dry and flaky skin on the area around the vagina and the vulva.
  • Cheese like Discharge. Another sign showing that your toddler could be having a yeast infection is when the discharge is cheese like. Apart from the looks of the discharge, you can always tell that it is thick. In addition to this, it is white in color and is often curd like, resembling cottage or ricotta cheese. On most occasions, the discharge has no smell. But if it has any, then it could be like that of bread or yeast. The color of the discharge can either be faint yellow or thick yellow. In the event that the smell becomes strong, then it is likely that a secondary bacterial infection has occurred.


To fully diagnose the infection, you may need to take your toddler vaginal discharge sample to a specialist for further examination on the population of the Candida organisms. This will form the basis of appropriate treatment for such conditions because overuse of the drugs could render the drug ineffective when used in future.

Watch a video to learn more about the causes of yeast infection in toddlers and what you should do:

3. UTI

UTI is caused majorly when bacteria infect the urinary tract.


Your daughter may feel some pain while peeing. Fever could be another indication. UTI in toddlers could also cause her to release certain amount of vaginal discharge.


UTI is normally treated with antibiotics. However, it is important to deal with them early because it can lead to the damage of the kidney in children under the age of 6.

When to see a doctor

It is advisable to seek the doctor’s opinion every time you notice a persistent burning or itchiness in your daughter’s genitals.