(1) Background: This study analyzes the profile of female sterilization in Brazil by age, parity, type of delivery, place of delivery, color/race, region of residence, years of schooling, marital status, number of unions, and desired number of children reported by women; (2) Methods: The descriptive analysis is based on the most recent Brazilian database on reproductive health: the 2006 Brazilian National Survey on Demography and Health of Women and Children (PNDS). This dataset has information on the history of pregnancies with live births from January 2001 to July 2007; (3) Results: The study suggests that (a) women with high levels of sterilization, high percentages of more than one pregnancy in the period, and larger parity than the desired number of children tend to have high parity, be black, brown, or indigenous, reside in the North or Northeast, have low levels of education, and have two or more unions; and (b) women with high levels of sterilization, low percentages of more than one pregnancy in the period, and lower parity than the desired number of children tend to have cesarean sections, give birth utilizing private health care obtained through a private insurance plan or direct out-of-pocket payment at private hospitals, and be married. (4) Conclusions: The 1997 family planning law could be altered in order to allow female sterilization in conjunction with childbirth, as a way to attend the demand of Brazilian women in public hospitals. Policies are necessary not only to regulate the public sector, but also to aim better services at private institutions. Female sterilization should be discussed in the context of fertility below the replacement level, as one of its associated factors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited