Out of the 4,800 Swedes who chose to get sterilized in 2010, two thirds were women.
According to relationship experts the disparity could be down to women traditionally taking greater responsibility for both reproduction and pregnancy prevention.
“Many guys think that if we skip using a condom she’ll sort out the pregnancy prevention… So I’m thinking if the woman doesn’t want to be on the pill, then one option is to get sterilized,” Robert Jakobsson, a social worker and sexologist, told Sveriges Radio (SR).
Since Swedish county councils are no longer obliged to report the number of sterilizations carried out, the National Board of Health and Welfare figures are not conclusive.
However, there is information about the cost of carrying out the operation, and it varies significantly around the country.
In 11 out of Sweden’s county councils the patient fee for a sterilization is 300 Swedish kronor ($45), which is the prize of a regular doctor’s visit.
In eight of the councils, sterilizations cost over 2,000 kronor. In the southern region of Östergötland the prize is a hefty 13,200 kronor.
Two county councils do not offer the procedure at all.
Sveriges Radio (SR) spoke to a 26-year-old woman who said she knew already as a teenager that she did not want to have children.
At age 19 she found out that she could get sterilized, but the age limit is 25.
“When I turned 25 I immediately went to the health centre because I knew that’s what I wanted,” she said.
She added that she could always adopt if she ever changes her mind about having children.
“There are lots of children in the world who need parents. I don’t see a need to have your own, genetic children just because you want them. It’s better to take one that already exists and to take care of it,” she said.
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