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ACOG Recommends Screening Women for Reproductive and Sexual Coercion — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 25, 2013

ACOG Recommends Screening Women for Reproductive and Sexual Coercion

By Kelly Young

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that clinicians screen women and adolescent girls for reproductive and sexual coercion regularly, such as at annual examinations, new patient visits, and during obstetric care. Coercion can include sabotage of contraceptive methods, pregnancy coercion, and pregnancy pressure.

Clinicians should:

  • counsel their patients on harm-reduction strategies and safety planning, such as providing emergency contraception in a plain envelope where it can be concealed from an abusive partner;

  • offer longer-acting contraceptive methods, such as intrauterine devices, or contraceptive implants or injection;

  • include intimate partner violence and reproductive and sexual coercion in the differential diagnosis when patients present for emergency contraception, testing for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, or with unintentional pregnancies.

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