Control and constraint for low-income women choosing outpatient sterilization

Ophra Leyser-Whalen, Abbey B. Berenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Little is known about Hispanics and their contraceptive choices in general, with some past studies detailing nonconsensual sterilization. This article is based on interviews with a mostly Hispanic sample of 44 women being sterilized at a public clinic in southeast Texas with the Essure device, which entails a new outpatient sterilization procedure. The women cited relationship factors, wanting to better their and their children's lives, and past reproductive histories as reasons for deciding on sterilization. They specifically chose Essure as a result of an apprehension of surgery and potential side effects from tubal ligation. Their choices, however, were limited by larger structural factors of work, family, the political economy, and the health care system. We concluded that this new sterilization technique provided more contraceptive choices for these women, yet more contraceptive decision-making autonomy and more equitable social structures are still needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1124
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Latino / Hispanic people
  • contraception
  • decision making
  • interviews
  • semistructured
  • sociology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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