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Contraception. 2006 Apr;73(4):404-7. Epub 2006 Jan 17.

Barriers to obtaining a desired postpartum tubal sterilization.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA.



To determine why women do not undergo postpartum sterilization despite expressing desire during antepartum care.


In a retrospective chart review, we identified all women between March 2002 and November 2003 who requested postpartum sterilization during antepartum care but did not undergo the procedure. We report the reasons why sterilizations were not performed.


We reviewed 6,589 prenatal care and delivery records identifying 324 women meeting inclusion criteria. One hundred and four women changed their mind. Of women still desiring sterilization at discharge, the most common reasons for not undergoing the procedure were lack of valid Medicaid sterilization consent forms [n=121; 37.3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 32.0-42.6%]; a medical condition precluding the procedure (n=47; 14.5%, 95% CI 10.7-18.3%); lack of availability of an operating room (n=2; 6.5%, 95% CI 3.8-9.2%).


We found that the Medicaid consent process, medical conditions and insufficient operating room space prevented women from having the desired surgery.

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