Sterilization is a surgical procedure performed to make a person incapable of reproducing. Another meaning (not treated here) refers to the killing of microorganisms. People in all parts of the world desire control of their fertility. Limiting the number of children allows each child more opportunity, and many women and families seek limits on their household size over their life course.

Limiting fertility is arguably also important for the environment. Population, exacerbated by affluence and consumption practices, especially in the developed world, has led to the appropriation of significant proportions of the biosphere, leaving diminishing habitat for other species. Under some calculations, humanity's ecological footprint has now overextended 23 percent beyond the planet's ability to sustain itself.

There are many techniques for both male and female ...

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