According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Vital and Health Statistics Division data for 1995:

24% of women of reproductive age (15-44 years of age) were surgically sterilized for contraceptive reasons; 3% for non-contraceptive reasons; 10% (6.1 million) had impaired fecundity; 63% were fecund (able to bear children). Of the 6.1 million with impaired fecundity, 2.8 million had no children; in 1988, there were 2.2 million with no children, and in 1982, there were 1.9 million with no children.  [Table 49]

Of childless couples ages 35-44, 21% had ever received infertility services. 
15.4% of all women ages 15-44 years have ever received any infertility services.
Two percent of women of reproductive age (1.2 million women) had an infertility visit in the past year (in 1994).
Of currently married women ages 15-44 years (29,673,000), 41.0% are surgically sterile, 7.1% are infertile, and 52.0% are fecund. [Table 51]
Of all women ages 15-44 years (60,201,000) 24.2% are surgically sterilized by contraceptives; 3.1% are surgically sterilized by non-contraceptives; 10.2% have impaired fecundity; and 62.5% are fecund.
Of all women ages 15-24 years (18,002,000), 1.6% are surgically sterile and 92.2% are fecund. [Table 49]
Nearly 2/3 of women with 3 or more births have been sterilized. [Table 52]
In 1995, 18% of women (10.7 million) chose female sterilization, 17% (10.4 million) chose the pill, 13% (7.9 million) chose the male condom, and 7% (4.2 million) chose male sterilization [Table 41]
Of all women 15-44 years (60,201,000) 27.5%  have had any sterilizing operation: 17.7% have had a tubal ligation; 5.0% have had a hysterectomy; 7.7% of husbands or partners have had a vasectomy. [Table 52]
Of all currently married women 15-44 years (29,673,000), 41.1% have had any sterilizing operation: 23.8% have had a tubal ligation; 6.8% have had a hysterectomy; and 14.9% of all husbands have had a vasectomy. [Table 53]
For women ages 30-44 years, female sterilization is the leading method.
For women under age 30, the pill is the leading method [Table 41]
In 1995, there were 60,201,000 U.S. women ages 15-44 years. Of this number, there were 8,961,000 women ages 15-19 years (a decrease of 5.8% since 1982) and 9,041,000 women ages 20-24 years (a decrease of 14.9% since 1982).
In 1995, there were 8.9% of 15-19 year old women who had ever cohabited; there were 38.4% of 20-24 year old women who had ever cohabited.

Table 52 — ALL WOMEN 15-44 years (60,201,000)


# of women    ANY STERILIZATION     TUBAL      HYSTER’Y      VASECTOMY (partners)

15-19 years   8,961,000    0.1          –             –                     –       

20-24 years  9,041,000     3.3        2.5           0.1                  0.6 

25-29 years  9,693,000    15.0      11.4           0.9                  3.1   

30-34 years    11,065,000  30.6     21.5          2.8                  7.9

35-39 years 11,211,000    48.6        29.9          8.8               15.2

40-44 years 10,230,000    58.3       35.1           16.0             16.4




According to a major 10-year study of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, “the cumulative probability of ectopic pregnancy for all methods of tubal sterilization combined was 7.3 per 1000 procedures. The cumulative probability varied substantially according to the method of sterilization and the woman’s age at the time of sterilization. Women sterilized by bipolar tubal coagulation before the age of 30 years had a probability of ectopic pregnancy that was 27 times as high as that among women of similar age who underwent postpartum partial salpingectomy (31.9 versus 1.2 ectopic pregnancies per 1000 procedures. The annual rate of ectopic pregnancy for all methods combined in the 4th through 10th years after sterilization was no lower than that in the first 3 years.” Thus, a “history of tubal sterilization does not rule out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, even many years after the procedure”. [New Engl Journal of Medicine 1997; 336:762-7]

Other possible side effects of tubal ligation include changes in blood supply to the ovaries, causing cramping, heavy bleeding, and PMS, and it lowers progesterone levels.


Four studies have shown a doubling of the rate of prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer is the second leading killing cancer among men. Vasectomy may also cause problems with the auto-immune system.