February 1, 2019

Reporting sterilization as a current contraceptive method among sterilized women: lessons learned from a population with high sterilization rates, Rajasthan, India

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Authors: Yoonjoung Choi, Annop Khanna, Linnea Zimmerman, Scott Radloff, Blake Zachary, & Danish Ahmad

Journal: Contraception, 99(2). February 2019

This article aims to understand levels and patterns of underreporting of female sterilization in a population with high sterilization rates. This study demonstrates, in a population with high sterilization, that sterilization as a current contraceptive method would be substantially underestimated using conventional survey questions.

The researchers analyzed data from the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) survey conducted in Rajasthan, India, in early 2017. In addition to a conventional question used to ascertain current contraceptive use, the survey included a probing question; women who did not report sterilization as a current method were asked if they were ever sterilized. Women were defined as sterilization users based on either question. Researchers found:

  • Among women who were ever sterilized, 78% reported currently using any contraceptive method(s), and 77% reported sterilization as the current method.
  • Women in the lowest household wealth quintile or in general caste were less likely to report sterilization as a current method.
  • Time since sterilization was not associated with correct reporting of sterilization.

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