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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 169-70

Female sterilization-acceptor characteristics.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I. G. Medical College, Kamla Nehru Hospital, Shimla

Correspondence Address:
A Kumar
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I. G. Medical College, Kamla Nehru Hospital, Shimla

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 2103927

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This article reports the findings of a study concerning the socioeconomic characteristics of women undergoing sterilization in India. Only 23% of India's 119 million couples use some form of contraception, but of these, 87% rely on male or female sterilization. It is estimated that some 20 million married women of reproductive age have been sterilized. This study examined the cases of 800 women who underwent sterilization at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Kamla Nehru Hospital, Shimla from February 1986 to April 1987. In addition to investigating the socioeconomic characteristics of the women, the study also focused on the knowledge and practice of other contraceptive methods, the motivating factors, and the reasons for undergoing sterilization. The study found that 68% of the women were from rural areas and 32% from urban areas. 71% of the women belonged to lower social classes -- only 40% of the women were literate. 98% of the women were Hindus, the remaining 2% belonging to other religious groups. 72.9% of the women were between the ages of 20 and 33 years, the mean age at sterilization being 27.5 years. While 77.3% of the women has 2 or 3 living children, only 2.6% had only 1 living child. 71.2% of the women had both male and female children, and 9.2% had only female children. Concerning the use of contraception, only 22% of the women had practiced contraception prior to the operation. 70% of the women reported being self-motivated, while 26% said that they had been motivated by a family planning worker or hospital staff member. 96.5% of the women reported multiparity and/or socioeconomic reasons for undergoing the procedure, while 3.5% of the sterilizations were performed for therapeutic reasons.


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