Fertility Desires and Intentions Among U.S. Women by Disability Status: Findings from the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth

Tina L. Bloom, William Mosher, Jeanne Alhusen, Hannah Lantos, Rosemary B. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives We compared fertility desires and intentions among women with disabilities and women without disabilities in the United States, using a new evidence-based measure of disability. Methods We analyzed data from a sample of 5601 US women 15–44 years of age in the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. The data were analyzed via cross-tabulation and logistic regression. We classified women into those with a disability and those without a disability. Results Women with disabilities were about as likely to want a baby (61%) as women without disabilities (60%). But only 43% of women with disabilities intended to have a baby in the future, compared with 50% of women without disabilities. Thus, the difference between the percent who want a baby and the percent who intend to have one was larger for disabled women. Women with disabilities were also less certain of their fertility intentions. Multivariate analysis shows that having a disability lowers the odds of intending another birth, after controlling for several other determinants of fertility intentions. Conclusions for Practice All women, regardless of disability status, desired more children than they actually planned to have, but the gap was larger for most groups of women with disabilities than for non-disabled women. Given the sample sizes available in this analysis, future research should use more detailed classifications of disability, however, we have shown that women living with disabilities constitute large populations with unexplored family planning needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1606-1615
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Attitudes
  • Disabled persons
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Health knowledge
  • Intention
  • Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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