Exploring the relationship between intimate partner violence during pregnancy and stillbirths

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Emergency Medicine


Introduction: The relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) in pregnancy and stillbirths is poorly understood. We aimed to determine if there was any association between stillbirths and IPV during pregnancy.
Methods: A community-based, matched, case-control study was conducted in 2014, nested within the Maternal and Newborn Health Registry of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research in Pakistan. Using a WHO questionnaire, IPV in pregnancy was ascertained from 256 cases (women with stillbirths) and 539 controls (women with live births), individually matched on parity. Multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis assessed the association of IPV in pregnancy ending in stillbirths compared to those with live births.
Results: The effect of physical and psychological IPV was modified by maternal age. Among women 25-34 years old with stillbirths, the odds of experiencing physical IPV in pregnancy were four times greater than those with live births, after controlling for confounders [odds ratio 4.1 (95% CI: 1.5, 11.2)]. A negative association was observed between psychological IPV in pregnancy and stillbirths among women younger than 25 years, and no association was observed between sexual IPV during pregnancy and stillbirths.
Conclusion: Study results show that women 25-34 years of age with stillbirths were four times more likely to experience physical IPV during pregnancy. Further studies replicating the effect modification of IPV by maternal age are warranted


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