Sexual and Reproductive Health

Navigating the healthcare system can be overwhelming and triggering for survivors. You may struggle to find the motivation to search for a provider, schedule and keep appointments, and follow-up with after-care and routine screenings. You might fear revictimization, becoming triggered, or being judged by medical staff; and you might experience internalized blame. You might be worried about the cost of services or a lack of transportation to get to appointments and pharmacies. These are all valid (and common) factors in the aftermath of enduring sexual violence. We know it is not easy, but you do not have to navigate the healthcare system alone. Our advocates can educate you on sexual and reproductive health and help connect you to local healthcare resources. Advocates can also accompany you to a doctor’s visit if you would like some support and advocacy in the exam room.

It is important to maintain good sexual and reproductive health throughout your life; even more so after experiencing sexual violence. While it’s good to receive emergency care soon after the assault (Read more under the “Sexual Assault Emergency Care” section below), follow-up care and routine doctor’s visits can prevent some medical complications from developing in the future. Sexual violence—whether it be rape, assault, etc.—can cause several health complications, both physical and psychological. Here are just some of the medical issues survivors often face:


  • Bruising and genital injuries
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Pregnancy
  • Gynecological complications such as vaginal bleeding, fibroids, chronic pelvic pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS
  • Lesser known effects- chronic reproductive, gastrointestinal cardiovascular, and sexual health problems; chronic conditions later in life, such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer.

To find local sexual and reproductive healthcare services, visit Gynecology Services Near Me - Whole Woman's Health (  (Note: This website is pro-choice.)


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts (Rape victims are 13x more likely than non-crime victims to attempt suicide)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction; sexual aversion
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Engaging in risky behaviors that can negatively affect your health, such as abusing alcohol and drugs, smoking, and engaging in risky sexual activity

Some survivors find that therapy helps alleviate these symptoms as they process their trauma. There are also therapists clinically trained to treat survivors of sexual assault and help survivors form a positive relationship with their body and sexuality. To find clinical sex therapists, visit: AASECT: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists

While Phoenix Project does not offer therapy services, our advocates do provide “supportive counseling”, which gives survivors the space to vent, problem-solve, and identify healthier coping strategies. Our services are free and confidential.

If you are considering receiving emergency care, preventative care, pre- and post-natal care, or mental health services, an advocate can go over some options with you. An advocate can also provide information on contraceptive options and safe-sex practices.

Finding Local Sexual- and Reproductive- Health Care:

Don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about your health? You can visit the following website for sexual health guides to review your options on your own.