In India, there has been a population explosion in the last century, the most common method of contraception in India is female sterilization. With the increasing literacy rate, there should have been a shift towards reversible methods of contraception among females. This paper describes the use and preferences of contraceptive methods among young married women in rural parts of Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Subjects and Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional survey was carried out among 100 young married women (18–28 years) between September 2020 and March 2021. Statistical analysis was mainly descriptive.
Results: The average age at marriage for women was 21.5 years, and 23% of women had more than one child. Current use of any contraceptive method (traditional and modern) was 85%. Female sterilization was preferred by 12.94% and it was significantly higher among women aged 25–28 years than in those aged 18–24 years. Women were mostly in favor of female sterilization (80%), and traditional methods like withdrawal and coitus interruptus were widely used and preferred.
Conclusion: A considerable number of females in the age group 25–28-years opting for sterilization. There is a preference for female sterilization when the family size is complete which shows the predominant reliance on female sterilization among young women. Higher education delays sterilization in young women due to delayed marriage and childbirth. Women empowerment, proper information and assuring availability and accessibility to different methods can gradually change the dominant preference for female-oriented permanent method of contraception.