Sterilization

With about 1 million procedures/yr in the United States, sterilization is the most popular form of birth control. There are 1 to 4 pregnancies per 1,000 sterilizations.

Male type: Vasectomy Female type: Tubal ligation

VASECTOMY

Excision of a small section of both vas deferens, followed by sealing of the proximal and distal cut ends: Ejaculation still occurs.

Sperm can still be found proximal to the surgical site, so to ensure sterility one must:

■ Have two consecutive negative sperm counts or

■ Use contraception for 6 weeks or 15 ejaculations

TUBAL LIGATION

Procedures can be performed either postpartum (immediately after delivery) or during an interval (between pregnancies).

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