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Women with chronic physical disabilities are no less likely to bear children
Date:5/16/2013

ol education. Women with disabilities were also less likely to be employed and had lower incomes.

Current pregnancy was reported by 3.5 percent of the women surveyed. The pregnancy rate for women with chronic physical disabilities was 2.0 percent, compared to 3.8 percent for nondisabled women. After adjustment for demographic and social factors, the pregnancy rate among physically disabled women was only 17 percent lower than that in nondisabled womenthe difference was not statistically significant.

Women with more severe physical disabilities did have lower reported pregnancy rates. However, even in the most severe disability category, 1.5 percent of women said they were currently pregnant.

'And Their Numbers Will Likely Grow"

The study is one of the first to use population-based data to examine the reproductive choices and experiences of women with chronic physical disabilities. Dr Iezzoni and coauthors write, "Historically women with physical disabilities have confronted stigmatization concerning their reproductive and sexual health."

Extrapolated to the entire country, the results suggest that nearly 164,000 U.S. women with chronic physical disabilities are pregnant at any given timeincluding 44,000 women with severe disabilities. The researchers write. "These figures are sufficiently large to merit serious attention, especially since the number of women of reproductive age with chronic physical disabilities will rise in coming decades," as part of a general trend toward increased numbers of people living with disabilities.

"Women with chronic physical disabilities do become pregnant, and their numbers will likely grow." Dr Iezzoni and coauthors conclude. "Whether obstetricians, nurse midwives, and other clinicians who care for pregnant womenand clinicians who provide preconception services and postpartum carehave sufficient training to serve women with chronic physical disabilities is unknown and req
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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