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Sterilization

  • By: Yu-ling Huang
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Sterilization is a medical procedure that makes an individual permanently unable to reproduce. Female sterilization, known as tubal ligation, is a surgery in which the fallopian tubes are severed and sealed. Vasectomy, male sterilization, involves cutting and tying the two tubes that carry sperm to the penis. Sterilization is the most common method of birth control in the world, used by some 223 million couples worldwide. It is becoming increasing popular in developing countries where other methods of contraception may not be readily available. Sterilization is also the most effective contraceptive method and has the smallest risk of failure (less than 0.5 percent over the first year).

These surgical procedures are also generally considered safe, with minimal health risks and complications. Nevertheless, the side effects of ...

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