The Relationship of Married Women’s Marriage Duration with Their Reproductive Practices

Document Type : Original Article



Background: Low fertility rate is currently a serious health problem both in developed and developing countries.                                                                                                    Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the women’s reproductive practices based on their marriage duration.                                                                                                            Methods: This cross‑sectional study was completed in urban and in rural healthcare centers in Babol, Iran. A sample of 880 married women aged 15–49 was recruited through the cluster sampling. Data on participants’ reproductive practices were collected and analyzed through the one‑way analysis of variance and the Chi‑squared tests.                                                                                                  Results: Women with different marriage durations significantly differed from each other respecting their age at the first pregnancy, the time interval between their marriage and their first pregnancy, the number of their children, the interval between their first and second pregnancies, their contraceptive use before the first pregnancy, a history of abortion, and a history of unwanted pregnancy (P < 0.01). The most commonly used contraceptive method was the withdrawal method.                                                                                                     Conclusions: While the rate of fertility and the duration of reproductive life have decreased among women, the rates of unwanted pregnancy, induced abortion, and unreliable contraceptive method use are still high among them. Health‑care providers, particularly midwives, are recommended to provide women with educations about the best contraceptive methods, the best marriage‑pregnancy interval, and ideal spacing between pregnancies to reduce the rates of unwanted pregnancy and induced abortion.