80% women had 3 or more children before treatment.
Panjim (goa): Even as female sterilisation continues to be the most preferred sterilisation method among couples, it has failed to address the issue of population control.
A recent survey conducted in two high burdened states showed that around 80 per cent of women had 3 or more children before undergoing sterilization.
The findings from the married women in reproductive age (MWRA) survey conducted by International centre for Research on women (ICRW) in 2016 showed that four out of every five sterilized women had 3 or more children, before they underwent sterilization. This means that most women had achieved their desired fertility before undergoing the population control method.
The survey conducted in UP and Bihar found the average age of sterilization was 27 years which means women were undergoing sterilization even before reaching half of their reproductive lifespan.
Presenting their study at the “difficult dialogues” conference in Goa, experts indicated that there was an imbalance between the information that women are receiving about reproductive choices and the factors that are influencing those choices. Based on the deliberations held during the difficult dialogues forum, experts will list out “demands on health” which will be submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The findings also show that Nationally as well as in Bihar, the contraceptive method mix is heavily dominated by female sterilization. “For about 80% of the contraceptive users, their first method was female sterilization,”said Ravi Verma, Vice President, ICRW, Asia.
The findings from the surveys further indicate that contraceptive users in Bihar and UP are not adequately informed about the range of contraceptive methods available for spacing and limiting and also do not have enough knowledge about the current method they are using.
Experts recommend that women rights and choices are upheld not just by the health system structure, which meets their needs through informed and appropriate services, but also through an environment where social norms uphold, enable, and encourage these freedoms.