Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1772–1777 | Cite as

The Rise of Female Sterilization: A Closer Look at Colombia

  • Beatriz M. FolchEmail author
  • Sarah Betstadt
  • Dongmei Li
  • Natalie Whaley


Objective In the 1970s, OCPs and IUDs were the most popular contraceptive methods in Colombia. According to data from the most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), sterilization has become the most common form of birth control in Colombia. This study aims to examine the characteristics of Colombian women desiring long-acting contraception. Methods This study uses the 2005 and 2010 Colombian DHS dataset. Women who choose long-acting contraception were divided into those using female sterilization and those using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). A multivariate logistic regression model was used to compare demographic and social determinants of contraceptive choice among reproductive age women seeking long-acting contraception between the years 2005 and 2010. Results Among women using a long-acting contraceptive method in 2010, compared to 2005, women were significantly more likely to be sterilized (1.14 OR, 95% CI 1.09–1.18) and less likely to use LARC (0.88 OR, 95% CI 0.85–0.92). Of women seeking long-acting contraception, those exposed to a family planning provider were less likely to undergo sterilization (0.54 OR, 95% CI 0.51–0.58) and more likely to use LARC (1.84 OR, 95% CI 1.73–1.96). When compared to all contraceptive users, younger women and women with less than two children were more likely to use LARC than sterilization. Conclusion Between 2005 and 2010, an increase in the proportion of contracepting women being sterilized in Colombia occurred. Our findings suggest that exposure to a family planning provider and appropriate contraceptive counseling appears to be key determinants of long-acting contraceptive choice. To improve use of long-acting, effective contraception, efforts should be made to increase access to family planning providers.


Female sterilization LARC Socio-demographic determinants Family planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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