Pregnancy Prevention After Sexual Assault

The protection of victims of sexual abuse is necessary and mandatory. Counseling, providing medical help and information about possible sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies is all part of this protection.
Pregnancy Prevention After Sexual Assault
Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas

Written and verified by the doctor Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Sexual assault brings many devastating consequences for the victim. In some cases, it can even lead to unwanted pregnancies.

Sexual Assault

Sexual violence includes any sexual act or behavior that is carried out without the consent of the other person. Statistically, most sexual violence incidents involve a woman victim and male aggressor, sexual violence happens to people of varying ages and genders.

This type of violence results in serious short and long term consequences for the victim. Victims often suffer from physical, psychological and social trauma as a result of sexual violence. Therefore, multiple measures and support are often necessary to help them overcome this trauma.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the topic.

To begin with, there are three types of violence outlined within the term “sexual violence”:

1. Sexual assault

sexual aggression

Sexual assault is any form of physical aggression that is of a sexual nature that is done without consent. It uses violence to attack the sexual freedom and safety of the other person.

Rape is the most serious form of sexual assault. Rape involves forcing the victim to have sex orally, anally, or vaginally.

2. Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse also attacks the sexual freedom of another person. However, in this case, no violence or intimidation is used. Rather, deception or coercion is used to abuse the victim.

Sexual abuse is also the term generally used for people who cannot give consent because of the victim’s state of consciousness (drugged, unconscious, etc), or because the victim has mental disabilities or is a child.

3. Sexual harassment

Finally. this type of sexual violence involves a sense of power or superiority that perpetrators use to coerce and threaten the victim. In this case, the aggressor demands favors of a sexual nature.

It also includes excessive or unwanted sexual attention, unwanted touching, or constant pressure for dates or sexual acts. It can happen in person or online or from a distance, as in the case of cyber-bullying.

Cyber-bullying occurs when the victim is manipulated and/or threatened via technology in order to obtain sexual favors. It’s also considered sexual harassment.

Medical Care after Sexual Assault

medical care

After a sexual assault incident, it’s very important to receive immediate medical attention. This ensures that the treatments of the victim’s physical and psychological pain can begin immediately.

The medical examination will evaluate the general emotional state and physical condition of the victim. In addition, will include a gynecological exam. They will also administer toxicology tests, sexually transmitted disease tests, and a pregnancy test.

This will detect any possible sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies early on to prevent further complications.

STD Prophylaxis

Then, the doctor will treat possible sexually transmitted diseases with preventative methods. They may administer certain drugs to treat diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia.

In addition, they will also test for any possible HIV or hepatitis B infection. They will carry out medical tests and follow-ups in order to rule out or detect the disease as soon as possible. In addition, if the person has not been previously vaccinated, they will administer a hepatitis B vaccine.

Preventing Pregnancy

If the aggression has taken place within the last 72 hours, the victim will receive the “morning after” pill the day after to prevent a possible pregnancy. This pill has a large percentage of success in preventing pregnancies if the person takes it within 72 hours of the incident.

However, if 72 hours to 5 days have passed since the assault, the morning after pill is no longer effective. In these cases, doctors can implant an IUD as “emergency contraception.” 

Then, after 15 days, they will take another pregnancy test. In the most serious cases, if the woman discovers she is pregnant, she may request an abortion. However, abortion laws vary by country and by state. Overall, most areas require an abortion to be carried out within a specific time frame during the pregnancy.

Finally, the victims of sexual assault must have a follow-up where their mental health is evaluated. This ensures that the victim can receive treatment and support for post-traumatic stress and other possible disorders.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Masi, D. (2005). Violencia Sexual. Pediatría (Asunción).
  • ECHEBURÚA, ENRIQUE; DE CORRAL, PAZ. Superar un trauma. El tratamiento
    de las víctimas de sucesos violentos. Madrid: Ediciones Pirámide,
  • URRA, JAVIER. SOS… Víctimas de abusos sexuales. Madrid: Ediciones
    Pirámide, 2007.
  • Salinas, S., Castro, D., & Fernandez, C. (2014). Vivencias y relatos sobre el embarazo en adolescentes. Unicef.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.