This study describes the perceptions of public health services managers and professionals concerning provision of voluntary surgical sterilization in the Campinas Metropolitan Area, São Paulo State, Brazil. The study adopted a qualitative approach in four municipalities (counties), where semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 health professionals and health services managers involved in the provision of surgical sterilization. The interviewees identified difficulties in scheduling visits at Outpatient Family Clinics or Reference Centers (APF/CR), and the number of available surgeries in the accredited hospitals was insufficient. They emphasized the lack of physical infrastructure and human resources for conducting family planning activities in the primary health units as well as in the APF/CR.They also criticized the legal criteria for authorizing surgical sterilization, and mentioned adaptations to make them more appropriate to the each municipality's situation. According to the health services managers and professionals, despite the efforts, meeting the demand for surgical sterilization in the Campinas Metropolitan Area was jeopardized by its centralization in the APF/CR, which in practice had to cover the gap in family planning activities in each municipality's primary care units.