This research was supported by Grant No. RO1 HD21043, Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Psychosocial Impact of Tubal Ligation in Alabama Women1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 21, Issue 15, pages 1248–1264, August 1991
How to Cite
Richards, J. M., Kohler, C. L., Goldenberg, R. L., Jackson, J. R., Ryan, W. G. and Caldwell, J. A. (1991), Psychosocial Impact of Tubal Ligation in Alabama Women. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21: 1248–1264. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1991.tb00468.x
The authors thank the World Health Organization and the Principal Investigator in each nation in the WHO Collaborative Study on Psychosomatic Sequelae of Female Sterilization for authorizing us to use that study's standardized interview protocols.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the advice and assistance of many individuals who contributed to this project. Christiane B. Hale, Jerri Persall, and Richard O. Davis served on the Local Advisory Committee, and Nancy Felipe Russo served as an External Consultant. Mary Ann Pass, Debra Bailey, and the nursing staff of the Jefferson County Department of Health provided major assistance in the recruitment of subjects. Noval Abraham, Mary Alldredge, Stephanie Burton, Lynnette Dansby, Patricia Dickerson, Lisa Hudson, Mallika Iyer, Coral Jeffries, Barbara Keith, Marjorie Lerner, and Patricia Ransom served as data collection interviews. Rita Langford coordinated the scheduling of follow-up interviews, entered subject responses into the computer data base, and prepared the manuscript for this paper. Eta Berner, Darlene Higgins, and two anonymous referees for this journal reviewed earlier versions of this paper.
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
The prevalence of female sterilization has grown rapidly throughout the world, especially in the United States. Yet the psychosocial impact of tubal ligation is incompletely understood. Most previous research has been retrospective and has lacked comparison groups of women using other birth control methods. This study used procedures developed in World Health Organization research to study the impact of voluntary tubal ligation on Alabama women. The design was prospective, included a comparison group, and called for 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Tubal ligation reduced follow-up pregnancy rate and scores on a measure of fear of pregnancy. Sterilization also produced a small increase in menstrual distress but did not affect sexual satisfaction or mental health nor did it increase regrets about contraceptive choice over other methods. These results imply women attained the goals that led them to choose sterilization.