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Compression of women’s reproductive spans in Andhra Pradesh, India
Authors: Padmadas SS, Hutter I, and Willekens F.
Source: International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (formerly: International Family Planning Perspectives), 30(1):12-9.
Topic(s): Fertility
Country: Asia
Published: MAR 2004
Abstract: CONTEXT: The total fertility rate in Andhra Pradesh, India, has recently decreased to near-replacement level; however, the reasons for the fertility decline are unknown. METHODS: Data from the second round of the National Family Health Survey were used to examine the reproductive span-the duration between first marriage and menopause or sterilization-among 4,032 ever-married women aged 15-49 living in Andhra Pradesh in 1998-1999. RESULTS: Between 1992-1993 and 1998-1999, the median age at which women married remained at 15.1, whereas the age at which they adopted sterilization decreased from 24.5 to 23.6. In life-table analyses, reproductive spans of successive cohorts of women decreased-from 22 years among those who married during the 1960s to 15 years among those who married in the 1970s, 10 years among those who married in the 1980s and five years among those who married in 1990-1996. Proportional hazards regression analyses that controlled for demographic and social characteristics, as well as reproductive attitudes, confirmed this cohort effect (hazard ratios, 1.5-2.6). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that women are making the decision to end childbearing faster than older generations did. The gradual compression in reproductive spans is attributable mainly to sterilization acceptance among younger women.