Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

10-year survey of 485 sterilisations. Part I--Sterilisation or hysterectomy?

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 06 January 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:32
  1. R G Whitelaw


    A survey was made of all sterilisations performed in an obstetric and gynaecological unit in Dunfermline in 1965-74 to determine the outcome and complications. Altogether 547 women were sterilised by the modified Pomeroy method, and 485 (88.7%) were interviewed and examined. No sterilisation was followed by serious complications, and the incidence of even minor complications was low (4.12%). There were no subsequent pregnancies. Altogether 57 women had to be referred for gynaecological operations in the years after sterilisation but only 18 of these had to have hysterectomies. At interview 59 women were found to have gynaecological symptoms (menstrual disorders in 46), and examination showed that 83 women had a gynaecological condition, which was in most cases unsuspected by the patient. Most of these conditions were minor but three women had carcinoma-in-situ of the cervix. Although 46 women suffered menstrual disorders after sterilisation 104 had done so at some time before the operation. These results therefore offer little support for the wider use of hysterectomy as a form of sterilisation.