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IPPF MEDICAL BULLETIN. 1993 Jun; 27(3):1-2.Sterilization consists of occlusion of the vas deferentia or the Fallopian tubes to prevent the sperm and ovum from joining. Counseling is important since voluntary surgical and contraception is a permanent contraceptive method. Trained counselors should know about and discuss other contraceptive methods, the types of anesthesia available, and the different sterilization procedures and stress the permanent nature of sterilization and the minimal risk of failure. Counseling must maintain voluntary, informed consent and not coerce anyone to undergo sterilization. It is best to counsel both partners. Vasectomy should be encouraged because it is simpler and safer than female sterilization. Most sterilization techniques are simple and safe, allowing physicians to conduct them on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia and light sedation are the preferable means to reduce pain and anxiety. In cases where general anesthesia is required, the patient should fast for at least 6 hours beforehand and the health facility must have emergency resuscitation equipment and people trained in its use available. Aseptic conditions should b maintained at all times. Vasectomy is not effective until azoospermia has been achieved, usually after at least 15 ejaculations. The no-scalpel technique causes less surgical trauma, which should increase the acceptability of vasectomy. Vasectomy complications may be hematoma, local infection, orchitis, spermatic granuloma, and antisperm antibodies. Spontaneous recanalization of the vasa is extremely rare. Postpartum sterilization is simpler and more cost-effective than interval sterilization. Procedures through which physicians occlude the Fallopian tubes include minilaparotomy, laparoscopy, and vaginal sterilization via colpotomy or culdoscopy. They either ligate the Fallopian tubes or apply silastic rings or clip to them. Vaginal sterilization is the riskiest procedure. Reversal is more likely with clips. So complications from female sterilization are anesthetic accidents, wound infection, pelvic infection, and intraperitoneal hemorrhage. About 1% of all sterilization clients request reversal. Pregnancy rates are low with reversal.