(HealthDay News) – Obstetrician-gynecologists can improve the health of women and adolescent girls experiencing reproductive and sexual coercion by providing interventions ranging from patient education to discreet contraception, according to a Committee Opinion published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women discuss the issues relating to reproductive and sexual coercion.

The authors note that obstetrician-gynecologists are uniquely placed to assess reproductive and sexual coercion and provide screening and clinical interventions. Women and adolescent girls should be screened for intimate partner violence and reproductive and sexual coercion periodically, including at annual visits, new patient visits, and during obstetric care. Women who have been or are experiencing reproductive and sexual coercion should be encouraged to participate in education events that address birth control sabotage, pregnancy pressure, and the effect of intimate partner violence on women. In addition, patients should be counseled regarding harm-reduction strategies and safety planning, and should be offered long-acting contraceptives that are less easy to detect (such as intrauterine devices).

“Health care providers can directly provide interventions that address reproductive and sexual coercion,” the authors write. “Interventions can include educating patients about safety planning and support services, offering harm-reduction strategies, and providing discreet and confidential methods of contraception.”

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