Definition of Sterilization, surgical

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Sterilization, surgical: Surgical sterilization is a contraceptive option for people who do not want children in the future. It is considered permanent because reversal requires major surgery that is often unsuccessful.

Female sterilization blocks the fallopian tubes so the egg cannot travel to the uterus. The procedure, including tubal ligation is done by various surgical techniques, usually under general anesthesia.

Complications are rare but can include infection, hemorrhage (bleeding), and problems related to the use of general anesthesia.

Male sterilization, called vasectomy, involves sealing, tying or cutting a man's vas deferens, the tube which otherwise would carry the sperm from the testicle to the penis.

Vasectomy is a relatively short operation, usually takes under 30 minutes, and carries the risk of surgical complications such as bleeding or infection.


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