Introduction:Early marriage is both socially and culturally accepted in Shivgarh, a rural area of Uttar Pradesh, India. About 61.1% of all rural women residing in this province are married before they reach the age of eighteen years. Uttar Pradesh also scores lower on consecutive socialand health development indicators, making it one of the poorest states in India.Overall Objective:The proposed study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the context of early marriage and sexual and reproductive health issues in Shivgarh.Specific Objectives were to:• Explore the reasons for the existence of early marriage in Shivgarh;• Describe young married women’s perspectives on their married lives;• Explore the context within which sexual and reproductive health decisions are made;• Explore the nature of sexual and reproductive health services available to, and accessed by young married women.Study Design and Methods:Qualitative methods of interviews and non-participant observations were employed.Findings:Two main reasons were given for the existence of early marriage – poverty that leads to early marriage, and cultural factors that favour this practice. Being an ideal wife was important toall young married women and sex acted as a function of continued financial support from their spouses, and was important for their self-worth related to conceiving. Mother-in-laws and husbands played a major role in influencing decisions related to sexual and reproductive health, and women exercised very little self-autonomy on their bodies in this respect. Family planning services were available to women but not appropriate as the health workers showed a preference for tubal sterilisation. This preference was a result of their being monetary incentive related to money per sterilised woman for the health worker. Young women did not think that money incentive to deliver at hospitals was relevant as long as there were no skilled health workers present in the hospitals, and as long as they did not feel that they were being treated well. Thus, the sexual and reproductive health services were available but not always appropriate.