Contraceptive female sterilization in Alabama: A replication of the WHO study

Academic Article


  • The prevalence of female sterilization for contraceptive purposes has grown rapidly throughout the world, and is especially high in the United States. Yet the psychosocial impact of female sterilization is incompletely understood. Much of the previous research has been retrospective and has lacked comparison groups of women using other methods. Better designed, prospective studies have been needed, and the World Health Organization's Collaborative Prospective Study of Female Sterilization was conducted to address this need. No evidence was found in the WHO study of a significant impact of tubal ligation compared to other contraceptive methods on mental health, menstruation, or sexual satisfaction. The present study, a replication of the WHO study, compared 323 Alabama women undergoing elective contraceptive sterilization with 318 women using other techniques to control fertility. In general, the results supported the WHO study conclusions. Although sterilization produced a small increase in menstrual distress in Alabama, there were no significant differences between sterilization and comparison women in mental health or sexual satisfaction. © 1991.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Contraception  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Richards JM; Kohler CL; Ryan WG; Jackson JR; Goldenberg RL
  • Start Page

  • 325
  • End Page

  • 333
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 4