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Contracept Rep. 1995 Mar;6(1 Suppl):1-2.

Female sterilization. Patient update.

[No authors listed]



Around 28% of US women using contraception have accepted female sterilization. Female sterilization is a permanent contraceptive method. A surgeon usually uses a laparoscope to locate the fallopian tubes to either cut or obstruct them with clips, rings, or an electrical current under general or local anesthesia. Female sterilization is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The obstructed tubes keep sperm from fertilizing the egg. Female sterilization is very safe. The rare major complications tend to arise from general anesthesia use. The physician will discuss the risks and benefits of female sterilization before the surgery. The failure rate is 0.2-0.4%. Female sterilization might protect against ovarian cancer. Some sterilized women experience post-sterilization syndrome. Its symptoms include pelvic pain, change in sexual behavior, changes in mental health, changes in the menstrual cycle, increased blood loss, and increase in premenstrual symptoms. Most women do not suffer from this syndrome, however. It is not known whether sterilization is responsible for these changes or the changes are part of normal aging or gynecological problems. Terminating the previous contraceptive method (e.g., oral contraceptives) may contribute to the changes. Sterilization is for persons who do not want any more children. They should discuss sterilization first with their physician. They should ask the physician to explain the procedure and possible risks. Vasectomy should also be considered for couples who want no more children. Generally, due to less inhibition and more spontaneity without fear of pregnancy, sterilization improves sexual activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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