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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Child Sexual Abuse Question


 dtripled7 - Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:27 pm

Over the past number of years I have had recurring memories or childhood sexual abuse. However, I have told myself for a long time that what I remember couldn't possibly be real. I am in counseling but if I even think about talking about it I get severe pelvic pain and genital burning which I realize is probably psychosomatic despite how much it hurts. I have a question though. Is it possible for actual penetration to occur in a four year old child? I'm 31 and haven't ever allowed a doctor to examine me for fear that if it was 'real' they will know. And conversly if they don't know maybe I'm crazy and it didn't happen.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:00 pm

User avatar Hello Dtripled7,

Sexual abuse of children is, unfortunately, not a rare issue. Although, much of sexual abuse of young girls involves "rubbing" of the penis against the vagina rather than penetration, penetration is definitely possible.

It is also very possible to have physical symptoms from psychological trauma. The pain you describe is likely such a pain given that it happens when discussing your memories; however, I would strongly encourage you to see a gynecologist that you trust to discuss your symptoms. I cannot say with certainty but it is unlikely that a gynecologist would find evidence of sexual abuse at age 4 in a 31 year old since any injury would likely have healed. I say that I cannot be certain because if the injury were significant enough there may be scarring that can be seen.

A physical exam itself is never enough to rule out sexual abuse because the most common exam finding in sexually abused children is a normal exam. I would encourage you to continue to talk with your therapist but it is important for your overall health to have regular physical examinations (including pelvic exams). This will ensure that there isn't something else of concern that is going on with your health.

I hope I have answered your question sufficiently. Please feel free to follow up if needed.

Best wishes.

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