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Worried DD may have been abused and would like advice from others who may have been in similar situation

(22 Posts)
Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:25:29

DD is 5 and for a year has had an upleasant smelling discharge. We went to the doctor who did a couple of swabs and found nothing. They gave her courses of antibiotics which cleared up the discharge each time but it kept coming abck. We were then referred to a paediatrician who tried some different antibiotics and finally referred to a paediatric gynaecologist who we have just seen. She is going to put DD under general anasthetic and check for foreign bodies which she thinks is the likeliest cause.

She said if they don't find anything and possibly even if they do they will need to think about whether she has been abused. I told the doctor it would be a total shock if she has and she said yes, it usually is. The only adults who she is ever alone with are DH and I. She used to stay at my mum's who lived with her partner and also with my Dad who lived with his but she hasn't been there for a year. This has thrown me a bit, of course I realise they need to look at every possibility but now I'm feeling quite suspicious and edgy

SindyTellsMe Wed 22-Jun-11 14:27:04

Well done for posting this in here.

I don't have personal experience of this, but would like to reassure you that this sounds like a standard procedure in cases such as these, and hope that you will be well supported.

Knakard Wed 22-Jun-11 14:29:09

i have no experience of this myself, but I imagine its natural for you to feel suspicius and edgy. Hopefully someone will be along sone with more helpful advice

littleducks Wed 22-Jun-11 14:30:12

Much more sensible place to post.

I think you have done the right things so far, and dont jump to any conclusions yet. The paediatrician could find a foreign object.....not quite the sma ething but my friends daughter had a horrid ear infection problem, then her mother realised there was a HAMA bead in her ear, so took hher to the drs to get it removed, only for dr to discover something lodged in her other ear as well! This things had been there several weeks shock

Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:32:12

I feel suspicious now, trying to think of anyone she's been alone with over the past year and I'm worried they are looking at me suspiciously... I'm also worried about what they will do if they don't find a foreign body, will DH and I be suspects and our children taken into care? Sorry I know this is a total overeaction!

BeerTricksPotter Wed 22-Jun-11 14:34:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:37:50

She said 6-8 weeks until the procedure

BeerTricksPotter Wed 22-Jun-11 14:40:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bloodymary Wed 22-Jun-11 14:42:09

So glad this has been moved, I hope your mind will be put at rest.

Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:44:10

I don't really want to discuss any suspicions with the health visitor or doctor as they may in turn become suspicious iyswim

sunshineandbooks Wed 22-Jun-11 14:50:19

Poor you. This sounds horrible. I doubt you would be under suspicion though as it was you who brought it to the Drs attention.

IF it helps, my 4-year-old DD (who I know is not being abused) has repeated attacks of something similar to thrush. There is no underlying reason and as long as we clean her vulva twice a day and apply cream, she is fine and symptom-free. Leave it for a a few days, however, and it's back. I tried changing her diet and all sorts, but the Drs seem to think it's just down to her being so young and not yet on top of personal hygiene (front to back wiping and unless she catches all the drips left over from urine, these can aggravate the sensitive skin around the vulval area etc).

Could it be something like a juvenile version of bacterial vaginosis? While it's commonly caused by a new sexual partner in adults, it can also be caused by diet, hormonal imbalances, too much bubble bath in the bath, etc etc.

Hope you don't get too stressed about it. Thinking of you.

cory Wed 22-Jun-11 16:31:59

I would suspect foreign objects in the first place with that age group, just based on how many of my friends' dds have had infections from shoving things up the wrong place. In the second place, some medical reason. Abuse in the third place.

Our dd was kept in hospital and not allowed home on suspicions of abuse, partly to do with frequent unexplained urine infections, partly due to her complaining of being unable to walk (doctor suspected trauma). Turned out she has a genetic disorder which accounts for both. But it was very difficult to get the consultant to look further once his thoughts had gone down the abuse track. I was fortunate in that I felt absolutely convinced she could not have been abused. But I do remember the stress of knowing that's what other people were thinking.

Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 16:40:56

Bacterial vaginosis is what they first suspected. I've just spoken to DD and she has assured me no one has ever touched her there or tried to, so that has set my mind at rest a bit! cory that must have been awful do you have other DC's and did they let you visit DD? How did they finally decide that you'd done nothing wrong?

cory Wed 22-Jun-11 19:25:17

It was awful, Worried. And the worst part of it was not knowing what was really wrong and worrying in case they were missing something serious that couldn't wait (not a problem, I know with hindsight, as dd's condition is incurable but not dangerous).

She was kept in for a few days, they let me stay (she couldn't walk so needed a lot of help) and I spent a lot of time trying to persuade them to do more tests. In the end they let us gop home because they were short staffed, on condition that we agreed to see the mental health department the following week. Fortunately, we also already had a referral to a rheumatologist before she ended up in hospital, so she did get seen and diagnosed shortly afterwards; otherwise, I imagine things could have got very difficult.

cory Wed 22-Jun-11 19:51:52

Meant to add: I understand how awful this is for you, but try not to think about it too much, there may be some innocent explanation.

Worried1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 20:18:11

Thanks for your reply Cory. After talking to DD (even before really, just think I had a wobble out of the shock of being asked!) I'm sure there is an innocent explanation, I just hope they can sort it out and don't go down the abuse route, I know it's silly but you do read about families being torn apart due to doctors mistakes & unwarranted suspicions.

I don't know anything about child abuse but when I asked DD she looked puzzled and seemed to rack her brains then said 'No, I can't remember anyone ever touching me there so I don't think they have'. This seems like a genuine response to me.

cory Thu 23-Jun-11 07:43:20

Sounds very convincing to me, Worried. I would certainly be thinking along the lines of either a foreign objects or some structural weakness that makes her more infection prone down there.

And if it reassures you at all, even at the time when the consultant was clearly thinking along abuse lines, there was no suggestion of social workers marching into the hospital and tearing dd from my arms: they were thinking in terms of gentle talking sessions with a counsellor. I got the impression they would have wanted a fair bit of evidence to do anything drastic. Not that I wasn't shattered at the time, but looking back nothing actually happened.

PinkFondantFancy Thu 23-Jun-11 08:02:50

Worried, I don't have children but when I was younger I used to have similar problems. I think my vulva is just very sensitive, so things like bubble bath or biological washing powder used to set off pain and burning down there. Maybe it's worth cutting these irritants out while you're waiting for investigations to see if it helps?

myBOYSareBONKERS Thu 23-Jun-11 08:13:05

A friend of mines daughter had the same problem at the same age. The GP also questioned abuse only because it HAS to be thought of.

My friend was in a complete state and broke down at school one day. The teacher took her to one side and reassured her that in all her years experience she has had dealings with abused children and this child did not present as that.

The discharge eventually cleared up and they never got to the bottom of it, but she had to have swabs etc.

Stay strong xx

colditz Thu 23-Jun-11 08:13:26

Given her age, it's more likely that she's shoved a pea up there. I hope you get an answer soon.

PS nobody will suspect you as you are the one taking her to the doctors and asking that they investigate. Abusers don't do that.

mamalion Thu 23-Jun-11 11:54:58

How truly awful for you, its every mums nightmare.
My daughter has been suffering from discharge for a long time, girls are very prone to discharge, this is the bodies way of saying "hey we are working well" some girls can start this process from a really early age, it does not have to be an infection just your bodies natural way of doing things, maybe your daughter is just an early developer.
I hope you get some answers and can put your mind at rest, good luck x

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Fri 24-Jun-11 21:15:23

Just like pink , when I was younger, maybe about 4 or 5 I remeber my mum taking me to the GP as I had quite a bit of discharge. They wanted to do swabs etc but I remember being very embarrassed and not letting them. I think I was prescribed a special solution to wash with. It must be one of those things, as even now, as an adult, I do suffer from quite alot of discharge although, never an infection present, it's just the way I am.

It must be hard having this hanging over you, but I'm sure there is a reasonable gynaecological explanation.

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