More threads by Heather


Ok I thought it would be best if I say MAY TRIGGER here...

I am wondering if anyone can tell me where to find information about the physical effects (or the possible physical effects) of sexual abuse as a child!

There is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much out there about the emotional scars but what about the other.

This may sound a strange question, but I am so sick of looking about and finding nothing!

Not everyone gets physical stuff, but some of us do and have.

Thanks, hope this was ok to post and ask.


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
You're right - there isn't as much information on long-term physical effects, or at least it's not as easy to find. There are a few among these Google listings, however, including:

Physical consequences

Numerous physical problems occur with greater frequency among women with sexual assault histories than among women who have not experienced sexual assault. These problems include: diabetes, obesity, arthritis, asthma, recurrent surgeries, chronic pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, back pain, headache, eating disorders, poor reproductive outcomes, digestive problems, and hypertension.

Women reporting a history of childhood sexual abuse also report higher rates of numerous problems including venereal disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, surgical evaluation of pelvic pain, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, and neurological problems.

Sexual trauma and healthcare utilization

Given that women with sexual assault histories report more health problems than women without known sexual assault histories, it is not surprising that the experiences of childhood and adult sexual trauma are associated with increased healthcare utilization and costs.

A recent study examining HMO health care utilization found that women who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse were more likely to visit the emergency room and had annual total health care costs that were significantly higher than those without abuse histories.3 These differences were observed even after excluding the costs of mental-health care. Adult sexual trauma victims also appear to utilize high levels of health care (more physician visits and higher outpatient costs) even when compared to women who have been victims of other types of crime.4

Although women who have experienced sexual assaults may have considerable mental-health symptoms, these symptoms are significantly more likely to present in medical settings than in mental-health settings.


Hi Heather,

I think that there are some health issues that can be caused by this.

We fight to be survivors of this and get through it, and I think that it causes health issues that many don't think about.

Fibromyalgia is one of them. When I was injured at work, I was diagnoised with post traumatic fms a year after the injuries. So I know that mine, well at least 98% sure that mine is from the injuries. This is one of the reasons why I settled out of court in both lawsuits as I did not want this to come up.

I was anorxic for a while, I think that was because I was the one in control of what went into and out of my mouth.

I think I am a more protective parent then I would have been had I not been abused as a child.

I'm sure that there are a host of things that can come into our lives that has just not been connected as the studies have not been done on this.


Thanks momof5,

I appreciate what you have said. I do have some physical problems from it and I was wanting to know more you know, plus a friend of mine is having issues and wants to know more but there isn't a lot around.

I wish I could do some research on it, but I don't think that academically I am ready for that nor do I think that emotionally I am ready for it. But you never know in the future maybe after my masters, lol ( I am thinking of doing masters, but think I may be over-doing it for now, lol).

Anyway enough of that thanks again.

P.S. Sorry about the work injurys and all that, it is all interelated!!!
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