Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jenny Kluznik


Currently, 11.8 million individuals live with a cognitive impairment or are diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) in the United States with approximately 820,000 women with IDD of reproductive age. Before the 1970s, this population had been largely institutionalized, facing stigmatization and unethical contraceptive methods including poor sexual and reproductive education, barriers to healthcare, and involuntary sterilization. Living in state-funded institutions, private institutions, or with relatives or caregivers, this population is continuing to be integrated into communities with increasing societal recognition regarding their human rights, including sexual and reproductive health4. With their integration into communities and education systems, adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes are more evident than before. Women with IDD engage in sexual activity and have the ability to become pregnant, however due to barriers in healthcare access and sexual and reproductive education, this population is at an increased risk of adverse obstetric and gynecological outcomes including sexually transmitted infections (STI) and unplanned pregnancies.


SC 11.PAS.2019.LaFounta.EB