The study found the proportion of women who experience regret was essentially the same -about 6 to 7 percent-five years after their husbands' vasectomy or their own tubal sterilization. The study also found that substantial conflict between a woman and her husband increases the risk of regret after either vasectomy or tubal sterilization.
"This study is reassuring in that a comparatively small number of the women in the study experienced regret after either they or their husbands underwent a voluntary sterilization procedure," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. "However, the finding also underscores the importance of the health care professional in providing thorough counseling for those considering sterilization as a means of family planning."
The researchers, Denise J. Jamieson, M.D. and her colleagues, analyzed data from The U.S. Collaborative Review of Sterilization (CREST), which enrolled women ages 18 to 44 who underwent tubal sterilization at medical centers in six cities around the country between 1985 and 1987. This analysis included data collected from 3,672 sterilized women and 525 other women whose husbands underwent vasectomy, all of whom were asked about regret at follow up visits throughout the course of the study.
Although earlier CREST papers addressed the probability of regret among a larger group of sterilized women, the current report is the first to evaluate regret among women whose husbands underwent vasectomy and to make comparisons to women undergoing tubal sterilization.
The researchers found that the chance of a woman experie
Contact: Marianne Duffy or Bob Bock
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development