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Female sterilization by the vaginal route: a positive reassessment and comparison of 4 tubal occlusion methods.


Over the last 15 years female sterilization by the vaginal route has been abandoned in favour of the abdominal approach via a laparoscope or a suprapubic incision. This was justified when the vaginal route was used for a fimbriectomy or a Pomeroy type of sterilization. The use of tubal occlusion methods designed for the laparoscope has simplified the technique of vaginal sterilization and lowered the morbidity. Four hundred and ninety consecutive cases over an 18-year period are reviewed. Four hundred and eighty five were completed vaginally. The methods used were Pomeroy with catgut, Falope ring, Hulka and Filshie clips. The Filshie clip was the most satisfactory. Vaginal sterilization is suitable for day care. The readmission rate was 1%. There was no case of pelvic infection in 177 clip cases but 5 in 173 where the Pomeroy technique was used. The pregnancy rate was highest with the Hulka clip. The overall rate was 1%. With clip methods strong analgesics were only required in 6% postoperatively and only 14% took any analgesic after returning home; consequently return to normal activities was rapid. The patient's weight was not related to operative difficulty when clips were used so the vaginal route may prove to be the method of choice in the obese. Filshie clip sterilization via the posterior fornix of the vagina could be the most cost-effective method of sterilization available at present. The vaginal route needs reappraisal using contemporary methods of tubal occlusion.




Cost-Benefit Analysis
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Sterilization, Tubal

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article



PubMed ID