According to a cross-sectional study (reviewed in Medscape) carried out in women veterans, victims of sexual assault are more likely to be infertile. Rates of sexual assault in this population were high, with 60% of the infertile women and 45% of the fertile women reporting histories of sexual assault.
Researchers theorize that sexual assault results in chronic stress, which may predispose women to infertility and other health issues. Consistent with this hypothesis is the finding that, compared to women with no fertility issues, women with infertility had higher rates of fibromyalgia (18% vs 8%; P < .001), cancer (14% vs 8%), and chronic pain (65% vs 54%, P = .009).
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Infertility Linked to Sexual Abuse (Medscape – free subscription)
Ryan GL, Mengeling MA, Booth BM, Torner JC, Syrop CH, Sadler AG. Voluntary and involuntary childlessness in female veterans: associations with sexual assault. Fertil Steril. 2014 Aug;102(2):539-47.