Sterilisation is a procedure by which an individual is made incapable of reproduction.
It is a common form of contraception in people who are satisfied that they have completed their families.
Sterilisation of the male is the more simple procedure, requiring only local anaesthesia.
In the female, the process is often performed laparoscopically under general anaesthesia, although some surgeons may operate on outpatients under local anaesthesia.
Pre-operative counselling of both sexes is important, especially if the couple is young and the likelihood of wanting further children is high should there be divorce or loss of an existing child.
Last reviewed 01/2018