Children, adolescents, and women with disabilities experience the same sexual development, pubertal changes, concerns, and desire to reproduce as their typically developing counterparts. However, society has tended to stigmatize women with disabilities as "asexual" and ignore this aspect of their health care. These women are less likely to receive gynecological exams, contraception, and evaluation of sexual dysfunction. Unfortunately, having a disability places women at risk for sexual exploitation and abuse as well as sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, reproductive health care for these women is imperative. A number of barriers to receiving reproductive care exist. However, with proper education and knowledge on the part of women with disabilities, schools, caregivers, and health care providers, these barriers can be overcome.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Intellectual Disability: Some Current Issues. Joav Merrick, Donald E. Greydanus, & Dilip R. Patel, (Eds.). p. 45-70.

© 2014 Nova Science Publishers, inc.

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the book chapter here.

Reprinted as a book chapter in Child Health and Human Development Yearbook 2015. Joav Merrick, (Ed.). p. 515-540.

Reprinted as an article in International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, v. 8, no. 4, p. 429-447.