A sample of 150 women aged between 20 and 49 was randomly selected from the census of the city of Trondheim, Norway. Of the 131 eligible for the study, 13 refused to participate; the participating 118 women were interviewed by a gynaecologist. Detailed information about their present and previous spouse(s) and about sexual problems and gynaecological symptoms was obtained. Physical abuse by spouse had occurred in 20 (18%) of the 111 women who had ever lived in a relationship, and sexual abuse in 19 (17%). Eleven (10%) had experienced both physical and sexual abuse. A history of physical abuse with or without sexual abuse by spouse was associated with sexual problems in the present or in previous relationships. Reported abuse by spouse was also associated with a higher frequency of gynaecological symptoms at the time of interview.