Background: Reproductive age represents an augmented risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) despite its occurrence in women of all ages. IPV has been associated with various reproductive health outcomes (e.g. terminated pregnancies and infant mortality), although multi-country studies indicate that the findings may not be consistent across all cultures. STUDY AIM AND METHOD: The current work describes the association between IPV and reproductive health of women in Kenya using the Demographic and Health Survey of 2003.
Results: A significant association between physical/emotional/sexual abuse of women and negative reproductive health outcomes such as terminated pregnancies and infant mortality was identified. In addition, IPV exposure was associated with use of family planning methods and high fertility.
Conclusion and recommendations: Practitioners in the healthcare sector should inquire about abuse. Provision of counselling services and information regarding IPV effects on reproductive outcomes as well as referring abused women to relevant institutions is recommended in secondary prevention of IPV and to improve the reproductive health status of abused women.