, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 313–321

Does female circumcision affect infertility and fertility? A study of the central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, and Tanzania


DOI: 10.2307/2648044

Cite this article as:
Larsen, U. & Yan, S. Demography (2000) 37: 313. doi:10.2307/2648044


This study explores the association between female circumcision and infertility and fertility, using information from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). In Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania, circumcised women had lower childlessness, lower infertility by age, and higher total fertility rates than women who were not circumcised; the reverse pattern prevailed in the Central African Republic. In all three countries, however, circumcised women grouped by age at circumcision did not have significantly different odds of infertility nor of having a child than did uncircumcised women, when the effects of covariates were controlled. Thus we find evidence suggesting that the practice of female circumcision does not have a statistically discernible effect on women’s ability to reproduce.

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population and International HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBoston
  2. 2.Center for Drug Evaluation and ResearchFood and Drug AdministrationUSA

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