Genital findings in adolescent girls referred for suspected sexual abuse

  • Adams J
  • Knudson S
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Abstract

Background: Sexual abuse is a common problem affecting adolescent girls, but the frequency of medical findings in this population has not been specifically described. Objective: To describe the frequency of specific genital findings in a group of pubertal girls who has experienced probable or definite sexual abuse. Design: Patient series, medical chart and photograph review. Setting: Specialty referral clinic for abused children Patients and Selection: Referred sample of female patients, examined between January 1, 1987 and June 30, 1994 with Tanner genital stages 3, 4,or 5,who reported a history of penile-vaginal penetration, had colposcopic photographs taken, and were determined by means of a previously described classification system, to have experienced probably or definite abuse. Interventions: None Main Results: The study included 204 girls, aged 9-17 years (mean 13 years); race or ethnicity was Mexican American in 57%, white in 34% and other in 9%. Abnormal genital findings were documented in 32% of patients overall but were more common when the girls had reported bleeding at the time of the assault, or when the examination occurred within 72 hours of the last episode of abuse. Transections of the hymen were unusual, but notches in the hymen were more common.

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