BackgroundAdequacy of prenatal care is associated with fulfillment of postpartum sterilization requests, though it is unclear whether this relationship is indicative of broader social and structural determinants of health or reflects the mandatory Medicaid waiting period required before sterilization can occur. We evaluated the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage (operationalized by the Area Deprivation Index; ADI) and the likelihood of undergoing postpartum sterilization.MethodsSecondary analysis of a single-center retrospective cohort study examining 8654 postpartum patients from 2012 to 2014, of whom 1332 (15.4%) desired postpartum sterilization (as abstracted from the medical record at time of delivery hospitalization discharge) and for whom ADI could be calculated via geocoding their home address. We determined the association between ADI and sterilization completion, postpartum visit attendance, and subsequent pregnancy within 365 days of delivery via logistic regression and time to sterilization via Cox proportional hazards regression.ResultsOf the 1332 patients included in the analysis, patients living in more disadvantaged neighborhoods were more likely to be younger, more parous, delivered vaginally, Black, unmarried, not college educated, and insured via Medicaid. Compared to patients living in less disadvantaged areas, patients living in more disadvantaged areas were less likely to obtain sterilization (44.8% vs. 53.5%, OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75–0.93), experienced greater delays in the time to sterilization (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06–1.44), were less likely to attend postpartum care (58.9% vs 68.9%, OR 0.86, CI 0.79–0.93), and were more likely to have a subsequent pregnancy within a year of delivery (15.1% vs 10.4%, OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.10–1.94). In insurance-stratified analysis, for patients with Medicaid, but not private insurance, as neighborhood disadvantage increased, the rate of postpartum sterilization decreased. The rate of subsequent pregnancy was positively associated with neighborhood disadvantage for both Medicaid as well as privately insured patients.ConclusionLiving in an area with increased neighborhood disadvantage is associated with worse outcomes in terms of desired postpartum sterilization, especially for patients with Medicaid insurance. While revising the Medicaid sterilization policy is important, addressing social determinants of health may also play a powerful role in reducing inequities in fulfillment of postpartum sterilization.