Contraceptive sterilization among Canadians, 1984-1995

  • Vijaya Krishnan University of Botswana, Gaborone Botswana Africa
  • Kelly Martin University of Victoria, Victoria British Columbia


Prior to early 1970s, traditional methods were the principal means of controlling the number and spacing of births. Today, an estimated 57 per cent of the world’s married women use contraceptives and half use modern methods such as medical sterilizations. Recent statistics suggest that Canada has the highest sterilization rate in the Western world. This paper presents findings of research examining sterilization trends in Canada with respect to changing patterns in the use of modern contraceptives, using data from the 1984 Canadian Fertility Survey (CFS) and the 1995 General Social Survey (GSS). The main finding is that there is a decrease in the use of tubal ligation and an increase in the use of hysterectomy over the period 1984-1995. Less educated women are more likely to be in the forefront of modern methods of contraception.