Genital trauma in prepubertal girls and adolescents

Diane F. Merritt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To look critically at recent research articles that pertain to children and adolescents who present with genital injuries. RECENT FINDINGS: Emerging evidence supports links to long-term psychological sequelae of child sexual abuse. Parents should be educated to instruct their children regarding types of child abuse and prevention. 'Medicalization' of female genital mutilation (FGM) by health providers, including 'cutting or pricking', is condemned by international organizations. SUMMARY: Genital injuries whether accidental or intentional need to be reported with standardized terminology to allow for comparisons between reported outcomes. Motor vehicle accidents associated with pelvic fractures may result in bladder or urethral trauma. Adverse long-term psychosocial behaviors may be sequelae of child sexual abuse. FGM is willful damage to healthy organs for nontherapeutic reasons, and a form of violence against girls and women. Healthcare providers should counsel women suffering from the consequences of FGM, advise them to seek care, counsel them to resist reinfibulation, and prevent this procedure from being performed on their daughters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • accidental genital injuries
  • anogenital injuries
  • child sexual abuse
  • female genital mutilation
  • genital trauma
  • sexual assault


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