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, 40 (4), 281-8

Sexual Violence and Antenatal Hospitalization


Sexual Violence and Antenatal Hospitalization

Lena Henriksen et al. Birth.


Background: Studies have shown the negative impact sexual violence has on pregnancy outcome, yet the impact on antenatal hospitalization has been poorly examined. The aim of this study was to investigate if a history of sexual violence was associated with hospitalization during pregnancy.

Methods: A population-based national cohort study conducted by the Institute of Public Health, The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study. Women filled out questionnaires at 17 and 30 weeks' gestation. History of sexual violence was reported at three levels: pressured to sexual acts (mild), forced with violence (moderate), and raped (severe). The comparison group did not report sexual violence. Differences were assessed using Pearson's X(2) tests and logistic regression analyses.

Results: Of 78,660 women, 12.0% were pressured to sexual acts, 2.8% forced with violence, and 3.6% reported rape. A history of sexual violence was associated with significantly more hospitalizations during pregnancy, 6.6 percent for mild, 8.7 percent for moderate and 12.5 percent for severe, compared to 5.8 percent for no sexual violence. Women were significantly more often admitted for hyperemesis, bleeding, threatening preterm birth, other reasons and admitted without giving any reason. Reporting severe sexual violence had an AOR for being hospitalized with hyperemesis or threatening preterm birth of 1.9 (95% CI 1.4-2.5), and 1.9 (1.3-2.7) respectively. Similarly, severe sexual violence was associated with being admitted more than once during pregnancy AOR 1.9 (1.3-2.7).

Conclusion: Women with a history of sexual violence reported significantly more antenatal hospitalizations during pregnancy than women without such a history.

Keywords: MoBa; antenatal hospitalization; pregnancy; rape; sexual violence.

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