Complications of female sterilization procedure: review over a decade at district tertiary care hospital


  • Vidya Dinkar Mule Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Medical College, Miraj, Maharashtra, India
  • Shilpa Vishwas Date Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Medical College, Miraj, Maharashtra, India
  • Madhura S. Gadekar Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Medical College, Miraj, Maharashtra, India



Complications, Female sterilization, Tubal ligation, Tubectomy


Background: Female sterilization is the most requested permanent contraceptive method worldwide and one of the most frequently performed elective, intra-abdominal surgical procedure in reproductive-age women. Even though considered as simple and safe procedure, complications do occur including death.

Methods: The primary objective of the following study is to determine the demographic patterns of women presenting as sterilization complications and secondary is to evaluate possible etiological factors leading to complications and lay standard guidelines to reduce complication rate.

Results: Over a decade, 103 cases of female sterilization related complications were documented, out of 14 cases (13.6%) were of laparoscopic tubal ligation and rest 89 were minilaparotomy (86.4%). In 3 cases tubal ligation was not performed as surgeon was not able to either open peritoneal cavity or find fallopian tubes due to adhesions (2.91%). In 70 cases (67.96%) sterilization were performed in primary health centre (PHC). Four patients (3.88%) required hospital stay of more than a month with longest stay being 43 days. Exploratory laparotomy with surgical intervention was done in 34 cases (33%). Two patients (1.94%) died due to tubectomy complications due to septicemia and encephalitis.

Conclusions: Female sterilization is very popular and commonly performed permanent method of sterilization but complications can happen and many of them are preventable with proper screening and selection of cases with proper evaluation before surgery. There is a need to have proper training in sterilization and to stick to standards of sterilization procedure to minimize chances of complications.


National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) Volume I. India: Mumbai: IIPS; 2005–06. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International; 2007.

Patil E, Jensen JT. Update on permanent contraception options for women. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2015;27(6):465-70.

Stovall TG, Ling FW, Henry GM, Ryan GM. Method failures of laparoscopic tubal sterilization in a residency training program. J Reprod Med. 1991;36:283-6.

Hudges GJ. Sterilization failure. Br Med J. 1977;2:1337-9.

Mahadevappa K, Prasanna N, Channabasappa RA. Trends of various techniques of tubectomy: a five year study in a tertiary Institute. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(1):QC04-QC07.

Mumford S, Bhiwandiwala P. Laparoscopic and minilaparotomy female sterilisation compared in 15 167 cases. Lancet Contracept. 1980;316(8203):1066-70.

Chick PH, Frances M, Paterson PJ. A comprehensive review of female sterilisation-tubal occlusion methods. Clin Reprod Fertil. 1985;3(2):81-97.

Pati S, Cullins V. Female sterilization. Evidence. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2000;27(4):859-99.

Lawrie TA, Kulier R, Nardin J. Techniques for the interruption of tubal patency for female sterilization. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015; 9:CD003034.

Layde PM, Peterson HB, Dicker RC, DeStefano F, Rubin GL, Ory HW. Risk factors for complications of interval tubal sterilization by laparotomy. Obstet Gynecol. 1983;62(2):180-4.

Huggins GR, Sondheimer SJ. Complications of female sterilization: immediate and delayed. Fertil Steril. 1984;41(3):337-55.

Pulla P. Why are women dying in India’s sterilisation camps? BMJ. 2014:349.

Strauss LT, Huezo CM, Kramer DG, Rochat RW, Senanayake P, Rubin GL. Sterilization-associated deaths: a global survey. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1984;22(1):67-75.

Reference manual for female Sterilization. Family planning division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2014.

Smith GL, Taylor GP, Smith KF. Comparative risks and costs of male and female sterilization. Am J Public Health. 1985;75(4):370-4.

Adams CE, Wald M. Risks and complications of vasectomy. Urol Clin North Am. 2009;36(3):331-6.

Tripathy SP, Ramachandran CR, Ramachandran P. Health consequences of vasectomy in India. Bull World Health Organ. 1994;72(5):779-82.






Original Research Articles