Dr. Dinesh Kumar*, Dr. Munesh Kumar Sharma and Dr. Naveen Krishan Goel


Introduction: Welfare of a country directly depends upon welfare of its women as they make a major contribution for the development of the society. Although, men and women are considered to share comparable responsibility in family planning and birth control, the primary role of prevention of pregnancy is to a large extent, borne by women. Objective: To investigate the prevalence of female sterilization and to examine its association with socio- demographic factors of women. Methods: A community-based survey was conducted among 667 women in the reproductive age (15-49 years) in four randomly selected urban slum areas of Chandigarh as a part of detailed project sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Information on socio-cultural and demographic characteristics, reproductive/fertility behaviour was collected using a predesigned and pretested semi-structured interview schedule conducting house-to-house survey. Results: Overall contraceptive awareness and its practice in the present study were only 84.1% and 57.3% respectively. Overall practice of female sterilization was found among 22.1% women. Overall percentage of female sterilization among all contraceptive users was 38.4%. All factors considered except socio-economic status were found to be significant factors associated with choice of female sterilization. Elderly couples married at younger ages from nuclear families, having three or more children, having no female baby were more likely to adopt female sterilization. Socio-economic status was not found a significant correlate for choosing female sterilization. Conclusions and Suggestions: There is large gap awareness and practice of contraceptive among women. Female sterilization came out to be the most common choice of contraceptive irrespective of socio-demographic characteristics of women indicating low male participation in adoption of contraceptives. Efforts should be made to encourage awareness and practice reducing unmet need of contraception and for increasing male participation in contraceptive adoption not merely depending on female sterilization.

Keywords: Contraceptive methods, Couple protection rate, Unmet need, Married women, Sterilization.

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