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Caesarean deliveries, subsequent reproductive behaviour and children ever born in India
Authors: Rakesh Mishra, Srinivas Goli, Swastika Chakravorty, and Anu Rammohan
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, Volume 55, Issue 2; DOI: doi:10.1017/S0021932021000754
Topic(s): Cesarean section
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2022
Abstract: Against the backdrop of the alarming rise in Caesarean section (C-section) births in India, this study aimed to examine the association between C-section births, fertility decline and female sterilization in the country. A cross-sectional design was used to investigate the association between C-section delivery and subsequent reproductive behaviour in women in India. Data were from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). The study sample comprised 255,726 currently married women in the age group of 15–49 years. The results showed a strong positive relationship between C-section births and female sterilization. The predicted probabilities (PP) from the multivariate regression model indicated a higher chance of female sterilization in women with C-section births (PP = 0.39, p<0.01) compared with those with non-C-section births (PP = 0.20, p<0.01). Both state-level correlation plots and Poisson regression estimates showed a strong negative relationship between C-section births and mean children ever born (CEB). Based on the results, it may be concluded that the use of C-sections and sterilization were strongly correlated in India at the time of the NFHS-4, thus together contributing to fertility decline. A strong negative association was found between the occurrence of C-sections and CEB. The increased and undesired use of C-section births and consequent female sterilization is a regressive socio-demographic process that often violates women’s rights. Fertility decline should happen through informed choice of family planning and must protect the reproductive rights of women.