Tubal sterilization trends in the United States

Fertil Steril. 2010 Jun;94(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.03.029.


Objective: To review the rate, setting, and demographic characteristics of tubal sterilization and its current trend within contraceptive practice in the United States.

Design: Review of U.S. health care statistics, NCHS publications, English-language literature searched using MEDLINE and PubMed, and bibliographies of key references.

Result(s): Total annual cases of tubal sterilization have declined from 687,000 in 1995 to 643,000 in 2006, despite a 4% population growth. Interval sterilizations decreased by 12%. Postpartum sterilizations remained stable and follow 8%-9% of all live births. Tubal sterilizations remain more common in black and Hispanic women; women with lower income, lower education, and higher parity; and among women living in the South. From 1981 to 1995, inpatient interval sterilizations fully migrated to ambulatory surgery care.

Conclusion(s): After two decades of stable rates, there is a recent decline in sterilization. Improved access to a wide range of highly effective reversible contraceptives gives women flexibility when deciding how to manage their reproductive ability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sterilization, Tubal / statistics & numerical data
  • Sterilization, Tubal / trends*
  • United States