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Techniques for the interruption of tubal patency for female sterilisation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Female sterilisation is the most popular contraceptive method worldwide. Several techniques are described in the literature, however only few of them are commonly used and properly evaluated.

OBJECTIVES

To compare the different tubal occlusion techniques in terms of major and minor morbidity, failure rates (pregnancies), technical failures and difficulties, and women's and surgeons' views.

SEARCH STRATEGY

Originally MEDLINE and The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched. For the 2010 update, searches of Popline, Lilacs, Pubmed and The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were performed. Reference lists of identified trials were searched.

SELECTION CRITERIA

All randomised controlled trials comparing different techniques for tubal sterilisation, regardless of the route of Fallopian tube access or the method of anaesthesia.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Trials under consideration were evaluated for methodological quality and appropriateness for inclusion. Nine relevant studies were included and the results were stratified in five groups: tubal ring versus clip, modified Pomeroy versus electrocoagulation, tubal ring versus electrocoagulation, modified Pomeroy versus Filshie clip and Hulka versus Filshie clip. Results are reported as odds ratio for dichotomous outcomes and weighted mean differences for continuous outcomes.

MAIN RESULTS

Tubal ring versus clip: Minor morbidity was higher in the ring group (Peto OR 2.15; 95% CI 1.22, 3.78). Technical difficulties were found less frequent in the clip group ( Peto OR 3.87; 95% CI 1.90, 7.89). There was no difference in failure rates between the two groups (Peto OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.28, 1.76). Pomeroy versus electrocoagulation: Women undergoing modified Pomeroy technique had higher major morbidity than those with the electrocoagulation technique (Peto OR 2.87; 95% CI 1.13, 7.25). Postoperative pain was more frequent in the Pomeroy group (Peto OR 3.85; 95% CI 2.91, 5.10). Tubal ring versus electrocoagulation: Post operative pain was more frequently reported in the tubal ring group. No pregnancies were reported. Pomeroy versus Filshie clip: In the only trial comparing the two interventions only one pregnancy was reported in the Pomeroy group after follow-up for 24 months. No differences were found when comparing Hulka versus Filshie clip in the only study that compared these two devices.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

Electrocoagulation was associated with less morbidity including post-operative pain when compared with the modified Pomeroy and tubal ring methods, despite the risk of burns to the small bowel. The small sample size and the relative short period of follow-up in these studies limited the power to show clinical or statistical differences for rare outcomes such as failure rates. Aspects such as training, costs and maintenance of the equipment may be important factors in deciding which method to choose.

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    MeSH

    Electrocoagulation
    Female
    Humans
    Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
    Sterilization, Tubal
    Surgical Instruments

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Meta-Analysis
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21328258