Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Young, poorly educated rural women are more likely than urban counterparts to get their tubes tied

Young, poorly educated rural women "have a high prevalence of sterilization," says a study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, which found that more rural women in their 20s and 30s choose to get their Fallopian tubes tied than women of the same age living in urban areas.

The study of 4,685 women aged 20-34 used information from the National Survey of Family Growth from 2006-10 by the Centers for Disease Control. All participants were sexually active and had no fertility problems, but did not want to become pregnant at the time of the survey.

Nearly 23 percent of rural women said they were sterilized, compared to 12.7 percent of urban women. "Education level was found to be a significant effect modifier of the relationship between location of residence and sterilization," the study says, and "Rural women without a high-school degree were more likely to have undergone sterilization compared with urban and rural women with greater than a high school education."

"More than 55 percent of rural women who hadn't finished high school had been sterilized, compared to 26 percent of urban women without a high school degree," Generva Pittman writes for Reuters. "However, a similar proportion of rural and urban women with more than a high school education reported tubal ligation - between seven and nine percent. General geographic differences held up when the researchers accounted for women's age and race, whether they were married and how many kids they had. Making less money and not having private insurance were also tied to a higher likelihood of sterilization." (Read more)

The study has not been published in print, but is available online via Obstetrics & Gynecology, a subscription-only site. The objectives, methods, results, and conclusions of the study are available to read for free by clicking here.

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