Reproductive Coercion in the Perinatal Context [11F]

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Reproductive coercion (RC), or behavior that interferes with contraception use and/or pregnancy autonomy, has been poorly assessed in the perinatal context. Our objective was to determine patient factors associated with RC and to explore associations between RC and pregnancy engagement.


This was a cross-sectional study utilizing an anonymous, self-administered, Spanish or English survey among women with at least one prior pregnancy. The RC questionnaire queried participants’ experience of birth control sabotage and/or pressure to become pregnant by a partner at the time of their most recent pregnancy. Surveys were distributed at a tertiary care center during routine outpatient visits. Descriptive and bivariable analyses were performed.


In this sample of 93 women, 6.5% screened positive for RC. In the overall cohort, the mean age was 36.8 years, 79.6% were racial or ethnic minorities, and 41.9% were college graduates. Women reporting RC were younger (27.6vs.37.4 years, p=0.036) and reported more limited prenatal care (66.7%vs.25.3% with late/no prenatal care, p=0.049). There were trends demonstrating greater work insecurity, younger age at first pregnancy, poorer self-perception of health, and increased frequency of intimate partner violence (p<0.075). Race/ethnicity and education did not differ by experience of RC. Women were significantly more likely to have had an undesired pregnancy or pregnancy ambivalence if they had experienced RC (p=0.004).


In this unselected population, RC was present in a distinct minority of women without discrimination along racial, ethnic, education and economic lines. These data suggest that RC experience is associated with pregnancy ambivalence/unintendedness and poorer engagement in perinatal care.

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