Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

10-year survey of 485 sterilizations. Part II: patients' views on their sterilization.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 06 January 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:34
  1. R G Whitelaw


    As part of a study of the complications after sterilisation 485 of the 547 women who had been sterilised by a modified Pomeroy procedure in one unit over 10 years were interviewed. They were asked whether they regretted being sterilised and about the quality of their sex lives, mental health, social relationships, and marriages. Most women were pleased to have been sterilised, only 24 regretting it. Regret was more pronounced among women who had been sterilised in association with a third caesarean section, those sterilised for medical reasons, and those whose marriages had ended in divorce. In each case where a woman regretted a sterilisation that had been performed on the recommendation of a psychiatrist, the psychiatrists were still prepared to defent their opinions. On their sex lives, mental health, social relationships, and marriages, more women reported improvement than deterioration, and in most cases the deterioration could not be attributed to the sterilisation. The overall benefits from sterilisation to the women in this series therefore seemed to outweigh substantially the adverse consequences experienced by a few.