Treating labial fusion

A labial fusion or adhesion usually separates naturally without treatment.

Treatment for labial fusion isn't recommended unless there are other symptoms, such as dribbling after urination, which may cause problems or discomfort.

Treatment is with oestrogen cream or ointment applied daily or, very rarely, surgical separation.

Oestrogen creams

A small blob of the cream or ointment is applied daily on to the central line of fusion of the inner lips of the vulva.

This should be continued for four to six weeks until the membrane starts to dissolve and the labia eventually separate completely. When the membrane dissolves, you should stop applying the cream.

To enable the labial edges to heal properly and prevent another labial fusion forming, you should continue to apply an emollient , such as nappy rash cream, for a few months after the fusion has separated.

Oestrogen creams and ointments can occasionally cause side effects, especially if used for periods longer than a few weeks. They shouldn't be used for longer than six weeks. Side effects can include:

  • irritation around the genital area
  • temporary pigmentation (darkening) of the skin in the genital area
  • vaginal spotting or bleeding after you stop using the cream or ointment

Side effects should go away after you stop using the oestrogen cream or ointment.


Surgery is veryrarely needed to treat labial fusion.It may be considered if:

  • an oestrogen cream or ointment doesn't work
  • a fusion is particularly thick and severe
  • there's trapped urine in the vagina, which can dribble out after urination and cause vulval soreness

Labial fusions are relatively easy to separate they can usually be gently pulled apart by hand, or a small blunt probe can be used.

A surgical separation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic , where you're asleep, or local anaesthetic , where the area is numbed, as the procedure can be quite painful and can cause distress.

To allow the labial edges to heal properly and prevent another labial fusion forming, you'll be advised to apply an emollient, such as nappy rash cream or Vaseline, to the labia for a few weeks afterwards.

There's a high chance the fusion will return after treatment, whether you are treated with oestrogen cream or surgery.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018