MONTREAL -- The psychological trauma resulting from sexual assault on girls plays a role in the appearance of genital and urinary health problems later in life, according to a recent study by a researcher at the University of Montreal.

It’s a difficult subject, but Pascale Vézina-Gagnon, a doctoral student in psychology, believes that her findings will help physicians to better follow up on these girls.

Vézina-Gagnon believes that if healthcare professionals become aware of the link between the psychological impact of an assault and its physical effects later on, it may raise a 'red flag', and they will be able to provide better care.

She argues that prevention is crucial, and that taking care of mental health also has the effect of taking care of physical health. 

The results of her research were published Monday in the journal 'Health Psychology'.

It has only recently been recognized that childhood sexual abuse can have long-term consequences on the physical health of survivors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.