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Sexual Abuse

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  • Sexual Abuse

    Is there any connection (mentally or physically) between IC and sexual child abuse? I was abused as a child and have often wondered if that triggered off IC as a child.

    "Divided is the one who dances for the soul is so exposed"

  • #2

    There is no evidence or indication that sexual abuse causes IC. I believe, however, that the trauma of abuse can have a long-lasting effect...(emotionally and physically) and may heighten or contribute to the level of your symptoms. It may be more difficult for an abuse survivor to endure the uncomfortable and very 'personal' nature of urologist or gyn exams as well (in turn causing muscle tightness and added discomfort).

    Your question is a good one, Angel! I am sending you healing wishes.

    "The first time her laughter unfurled it's wings into the wind....
    We knew that the world would never be the same."
    ~Brian Andres

    Baby Kaitlyn was born on 07/08/01 after a successful pregnancy with IC!


    • #3
      I was also abused as a child and I have had IC my whole life. I have never believed it to be realted to the abuse. However; I am sure that it plays a major role in my level of comfort discussing it and dealing with the exams and personal nature of things. (I am so uptight about those things that now that I have had a hysterectomy instead of being happy about being out of pain I am happiest that I don't have to have gyn exams very often anymore, let alone all the rest of that crap).

      I developed IC, I believe, when I was an infant. I was potty trained early because of my symptoms which made diapers horribly painful for me. I believe IC is genetic, not in a sense that it will be passed on, but that it is a genetic mutation that causes our bodies to attack our urine which causes the IC related problems. There is reasearch out there that supports this (you can find them in the research article section of the handbook.....ones about IC urine being different from normal urine).

      I would not convince myself that your IC is because of your abuse. Mostly because that would put a burden on you to deal with that you don't need. We just DON'T know where IC comes from and fretting that someone did this to you, or that you did this to yourself only makes it harder for you to deal with the disease.

      I hope I have helped. Lisa
      God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging......The LORD Almighty is with us the GOD of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46:1-3,7

      May God bless our nation


      • #4
        I was wondering if it may be / have been a trigger for IC. I know that as a little kid I always suffered from cystitis and my mom always had me at the doc (I am 27). He told my mom it was because we lived in wet swimming costumes and this caused cystitis. I am totally paranoid about my little girl of 4 getting IC and it definitely has terrible side effects. I was diagnosed 3 years ago after much abuse and neglect from the medical community as a whole. I still blame them in a lot of ways and feel that if they were interested in keeping their oath they would had researched my problem when I was a child never mind putting me through years of mistrust, tests, etc etc. I truly believe that if they caught it in time I would not be as bad as I am today!

        "Divided is the one who dances for the soul is so exposed"


        • #5
          Last night I was reading the IC Survival Guide and when I got to the "related medical problems" of pelvic floor dysfunction and painful intercourse I felt a stab of lightning insight about my own sexual abuse. I thought the connection made sense because of muscle tightning and the overall painful rejection of sex--then I turned the page and there it was--there is some speculation that some IC symptoms are a response to childhood sexual abuse.


          • #6
            I have to answer a resounding NO to this one. I am your normal american woman. No sexual abuse, no sex before marriage, only 1 sexual partner my whole life (32) and my husband has only had me for a partner also. My IC is on the worst list.


            • #7
              "...........then I turned the page and there it was--there is some speculation that some IC symptoms are a response to childhood sexual abuse."

              I am pretty sure that it may have been a trigger for me. Not that it is for everyone. Glad to see that there is / has been some thought on it!
              "Divided is the one who dances for the soul is so exposed"


              • #8
                Rhonda, I was not implying that the cause of all IC is sexual abuse, only wondering if it has been looked at. I certainly feel it may have had something to do with triggering IC in me personally. I was abused at a young age and have always suffered from cystitis and guess it may have been IC all along. I have Hunners ulcers and if I can't get to a loo quickly enough my bladder actually bleeds! Bad case of IC as well as abuse from the medical profession. I have no faith in our medical profession here in Zimbabwe. GP's are too overworked to care and even take an interest in something unusual. Vent vent.
                "Divided is the one who dances for the soul is so exposed"


                • #9
                  i am late posting this but i just wanted to say that i am definite that sex has caused my ic at age 19. i don't know if your situation would have caused your condition. but not only my boyfriend gave me a parasitic sexually transmited infection (curable but gave me horrific bladder infections) but he was really rough on me and i wonder if that was a factor in it too as i came down with my ic during the fist year of our relationship. it wasn't rape but it would bring on tears. he's a big guy of 6'6 ft tall and there was aggresive sex. he was repeatedly battered and raped by a family member as a child. after sex i'd end up with bruises, vaginal bleeding, difficulty urinating. a year of this took it's toll. the std is not thought of as causing serious damage as chlymdia and others can... but i believe that and my boyfriend being very rough brought on ic. i keep thinking how i wish i never got involved with him although i'm still in love with him as sick as it.


                  • #10
                    Angeleyes, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to seem to jump on you. I didn't mean to imply that you thought that causes all the cases. I live in a very small town and have to deal with alot of people who think that this disease is something that I caused. IC is a horrible illness. No known cause. I think as others suggested maybe some of your symtoms, especially dealing with the doctors , could exasperate the symtoms but this is not your fault and unfortuantly we don't know what causes it. Personally, I believe they will eventually find that IC is a cluster of SEVERAL different illnesses (ie the different symtoms some of us experience). I didn't mean to upset you I just didn't want you to think this was something that you somehow caused. Ok?


                    • #11

                      I guess I too understand about living with IC. After a while everyone thought I was making "it" up to get out of doing things i.e. being lazy and that was terrible. I have lived with the secret of being abused as a child and only through the anonymity of the net have I revealed something I have never told anyone - my partner, mother etc because of the adversity and tradgedy of the whole situation. I am trying to deal with that on my own in my own mind and have only wondered if anyone else has ever associated IC with sexual abuse. I too am a bad case with Hunners ulcers etc. I do believe that there are many triggers to IC - just wish I never how to switch it off!

                      I have come off Elmiron (cannot afford it) and the generic antidepressant Imiprimine and am trying hard to control IC.

                      I hope that you have some kind of control over it and that you will one day come off the "Worst" list.

                      Take care
                      "Divided is the one who dances for the soul is so exposed"


                      • #12
                        Hi Angeleyes,

                        Sorry to hear about your hard time (((HUGS))).

                        I take Elmiron and it is way expensive. Maybe if you talk to the doc he can get some samples. The elmiron I think it helps. You have to do something sweetie. Try to get the medication any way you can. This could worsen your symptoms. There are alot of us out here who love you and don't wnat you to get worse.



                        • #13
                          Well, I'm glad someone else broached the subject of chilhood sexual abuse and IC.
                          Yes, I was but I don't think it has caused
                          my symptoms per se. I do feel STRONGLY
                          that the lifelong stress, guilt (yes I know
                          it was not my fault) and secrecy that
                          surrounds this trauma may well affect our
                          immune systems. I have Chron's disease
                          and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (both are auto-
                          immune diseases) and I truly feel that the
                          terrific emotional strain of being an abuse
                          survior has taken it's toll. I think it's
                          even more true if you are of my generaton,
                          growing up in the fifties and sixties, back
                          when no one talked about sexual abuse from
                          strangers, let alone from your own family. I confronted my abuser years ago, and he got
                          the pyschological help he needed, and thanked
                          me over and over for ending the nightmare,
                          but it is still a very painful memory
                          that I find difficult to discuss with my
                          family. You can forgive, but you never
                          forget, and I think it takes it's toll no matter how hard you try to put it behind you,
                          particularly if the abuse came from someone
                          whom you trusted implicitly.



                          • #14
                            How terrible, I wish that you had not had that to happen to you. I beleive that people should be treated considerately and compassionatly. Please, you do not deserve
                            to be treated that way and if you can guard against it don't let anyone treat you like that anymore.


                            • #15
                              I had posted several years ago that I thought that my childhood sexual abuse might have had something to do with my IC.

                              I didn't tell her about it at the time, but now my mother reflects that it was about that time (age 10) that I started experiencing recurring bladder symptoms.

                              I have a new uro now, and I asked her about this. She says that her informal questioning of her paitients suggests that the majority has has sexual trauma. She doesn't think that it necessarily (although it could have) caused specific organ injury. However, it may have caused a general tenseness that could be at least one of the causes of IC. She also stated that many of her IC patients also have IBS and other colon problems which can also be attributed to pelvic tenseness.

                              However, she is as unsure of the "real" cause as anyone else. She was really just assuring me that my situtation was pretty common, disturbingly so and that she was sorry that I had that experience in my childhood, and the IC now.