Sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and intimate partner violence.
Women in abusive relationships are at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but the strategies they use to protect themselves from such infections have not been studied. Using the descriptive qualitative approach of thematic analysis, I explored those strategies among formerly abused women and examined the role of pregnancy as a protective factor for both STIs and intimate partner violence (IPV). Women described creative strategies, but as the abuse continued, women came to realize that the only way to protect themselves was to leave the relationship. Health care providers are well situated to provide information and support to abused women.
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