Sexual abuse history and pelvic floor disorders in women

Sara B. Cichowski, Gena C. Dunivan, Yuko M. Komesu, Rebecca G. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Sexual abuse rates in the general female population range between 15% and 25%, and sexual abuse is known to have a long-term impact on a woman's health. The aim of this study was to report the prevalence of sexual abuse history in women presenting to clinicians for pelvic floor disorders (PFD) and to determine whether a history of sexual abuse is associated with a specific type of PFD. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of new urogynecology patients seen at the University of New Mexico Hospital. All women underwent a standardized history and physical examination and completed symptom severity and quality-of-life measures. Univariate and multivariable analyses were conducted to determine which PFDs were associated with a history of sexual abuse among women with and without a history of sexual abuse. RESULTS: A total of 1899 new urogynecology patients with complete information were identified from January 2007 and October 2011; 1260 (66%) were asked about a history of sexual abuse. The prevalence of sexual abuse was 213/1260 (17%). In the multivariable analysis, only chronic pelvic pain remained significantly associated with a history of sexual abuse. CONCLUSIONS: A history of sexual abuse is common among women with PFDs, and these women were more likely to have chronic pelvic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-678
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • pelvic floor disorders
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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