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Revista de Saúde Pública

versão On-line ISSN 1518-8787


OLINTO, Maria Teresa A.  e  GALVAO, Loren W.. Reproductive characteristics of women from 15 to 49 years of age: comparative studies and planning for actions. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1999, vol.33, n.1, pp.64-72. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: The availability of socioeconomic, demographic and reproductive heath data about women at national, regional and municipal levels allows comparisons between regions and may offer background information for planning actions of the Program of Integrated Assistence for Women’s Health. METHOD: A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in Southern Brazil. Three thousand and two women aged 15 to 49 years living in an urban area in Pelotas, were selected for inclusion in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the socioeconomic, demographic and reproductive characteristics. The analysis included comparison of means and proportions. In the sterilization analysis the data were controlled for age. RESULTS: Nearly 56% of the women were married/in union and 35% were single. A third of them were housewives and 50% were wage workers . The mean of schooling was 8.5 years. Almost, half of the adolescents (15 to 19 years old) have an active sexual life, and of those 33% had already been pregnant. A high percentage of unwanted pregnancy was reported, mainly among younger women. Near the end of their reproductive life (women aged 45 to 49 years) the mean of children per woman was 2.4. The most prevalent methods were pill and sterilization. Among married women or those living in consensual union, 15% had been sterilized. The sterilization rate increased with age and attained nearly 25% of women aged over 35 years; 29.6% of sterilized women had had a stillborn child and 18.3% a pre-term baby; 20% of husbands/partners did not accept the use of any contraceptive method. CONCLUSIONS: The study results confirm the need for additional attention to and development of special programs for adolescents, improvements in the access to services, increase in the use of the contraceptive options already available and research and programatic actions related to the theme "men/reproductive health.

Palavras-chave : Reproductive health; Sterilization [sexual]; Contraception.

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