OBJECTIVES: to identify socio-demographic factors associated with regret following sterilization. METHODS: a cross-cutting study was carried out using data from the National Population and Health Survey conducted in Brazil in 1996. The sample comprised 3233 women of child-bearing age who had been sterilized at least one year prior to the interview. The logistic regression model was employed. RESULTS: the proportion of women regretting sterilization was 10.5% and the main reason reported was the desire to have another child (62.7%). The likelihood of a sterilized woman aged 35 years or over regretting sterilization was less than that for women aged below 25 years (p<0.01). Women with more than nine years of schooling are less likely to regret sterilization than women with three years of schooling or less (RC=0.75; 95%CI: 0.51-1.03). CONCLUSIONS: young women with a low level of education are the group that is most likely to have regrets following sterilization. These results may aid family planning program managers, restating the need for orientation regarding the irreversibility of the method and the changes that may occur in the lives of women in the course of the reproductive cycle, thereby minimizing the possibility of a woman coming to regret the decision.
Sterilization; Sterilization, tubal; Brazil