The correlation between childhood sexual abuse and pelvic floor dysfunctions


I know it’s a mouthful of a title today but it’s something I am living.

Medical examinations have always been a traumatic experience for me. I have a history of avoidance when it comes to addressing medical issues. A lifetime of hiding things and hiding from things makes that possible. My ex used to look at me with pure bewilderment, wondering why I couldn’t and wouldn’t go to the doctor when I needed to.

Cervical smears and anything gynaecological in nature is so much more painful for me. The other day I lay helpless and powerless while the doctor did an internal examination and confirmed what I knew already.

A pelvic prolapse.

The examination left me feeling so fragile. I had a ball of tears stuck in my throat. Reduced to a powerless child because the doctor had her hands up inside me even though it didn’t hurt. A trigger that leaves me shaking with fear.

How many children do you have? What was the birth like? she asked.

I have one son. And the labour wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, many many hours spent in painful labour after breaking my waters and a forceps delivery that tore me open literally. So that should explain the pelvic prolapse shouldn’t it?

But a thought did enter my mind, when a good friend mentioned the possibility, could the abuse I suffered as a child be partly responsible too?  The thought was too horrible to contemplate but I then googled it, as you do, and I came across this article 2009211191443594 about a study that was done to show the correlation of the two.

A lot of research has already been done on the correlation between conditions like IBS, PMS and other gynaecological problems and childhood sexual abuse. But this article was quite enlightening for me. It would make sense that women like me would suffer with pelvic floor dysfunctions in adulthood as a result of such brutalisation at such a young age. In my case 5 years old.

As horrible as it is to contemplate, yes it should be contemplated as we work to uncover all the taboos surrounding childhood sexual abuse and incest.

I realise I have two options. I can stay here and wallow in this familiar place. It will be one more thing to rage about and I could let the injustice of it fill every cell of my being with toxins and darkness. So many things that I have suffered as a result of what he chose to do.  This one hard to take and accept especially now as I have started dating and feeling more confident about myself sexually. It would be easy, so easy to stay in this wallowing place and feel like a victim again. Then I have no choice or say once again.

Or I could choose the other option, keep doing those pelvic floor exercises, even though the doctor seemed to imply that it was too far gone for that. Wait for my appointment with the gynaecologist and remember always that I have suffered much and always bounced back. That my resistance will allow me to bounce back from this too. That I will find a way to deal with it. That there will be many other challenges after this one too.

There is a struggle going on within and the bigger part is winning. This morning I woke up feeling profound gratitude. My son’s warm body next to mine as his breath like a summer’s breeze wafted over me. I have been back in London for just over a year now, I have a place to stay, my son is in a good school and I have a permanent job. I have friends who love me and I am making friends with all the parts of me. My life is filled with blessings and miracles are possible.





6 thoughts on “The correlation between childhood sexual abuse and pelvic floor dysfunctions

  1. I wish you didn’t have to wait so long for your specialist visit. It might be easier if you just knew exactly what you had to deal with and what your options were.

    I have wondered, too, if childhood sexual abuse could be a contributing factor. Of course, childbirth can be a cause, and I had a long and challenging labor with my second child. And in my case, I had gained some weight too, which doesn’t help.

    Do you have a woman friend or anyone there who can give you some in-person encouragement and support? And of course, I send lots of support this way!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I wish I lived closer to bring flowers and casseroles…to pamper you in some way..
      I hope at least they can put you on a list to call earlier if a cancellation comes up. So sorry you have to deal with this. I’m guessing it can happen to many women who struggle through a hard, long labor so it might help to know you are not alone. So many damages from childhood, I hope this isn’t another one, but now is now. You are facing it head on, you’re courage and determination are greatly admirable and you will be OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You are so brave and strong. I can so empathise with the terror of that kind of examination. That you are staying positive and choosing love over rage and hate is a massive victory. Biggest of hugs and love to you. Deborah

    Liked by 2 people

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