Vaginal symptoms, such as abnormal vaginal discharge, sores, warts,
pain, or abnormal vaginal bleeding, may be symptoms of sexual abuse. Signs of
sexual abuse may not be visible without an examination of the genital
Vaginal bleeding in a child before the beginning of menstruation is
abnormal, as are other vaginal or genital symptoms such as sores, warts, pain,
or unusual discharge. Abnormal vaginal bleeding may be caused by physical or
sexual abuse that injures the lower belly or vaginal area. Vaginal bleeding
that is caused by abuse often is the result of minor physical injuries that
will get better on their own or with home treatment.
You may feel uneasy if your health professional brings up the issue
of abuse. Health professionals have a professional duty and legal obligation to
evaluate the possibility of abuse. It is important to consider this
possibility, especially if there were no witnesses to an injury.
If you suspect abuse, seek help. You can call the local child or
adult protective agency, police, or clergy or a health professional such as a
doctor, nurse, or counselor. You can also contact the National Child Abuse Hotline and
Referral Service at 1-800-422-4453. Adults need to protect young children,
because they cannot protect themselves.
September 6, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.