What side effects does sterilization have?

Contraceptive sterilization doesn’t affect the production of female hormones so there is no physical reason why a woman’s normal feminine feelings or appearance should change in any way. Sne can resume her sex life as soon as she feels well enough and there is no pain or discomfort This usually means in a matter of days if the laparoscopic method was used, or a week or two after the conventional operations.

Although sterilization will not physically affect a woman’s sex drive or femininity, emotionally it might do. If she sees the continuing ability to have a baby as an essential part of being a woman, and vital to her own view of herself, then sterilization may not be for her and she should be quite open about her feelings during counselling. Equally, if a woman has the operation without giving it sufficient forethought she may become depressed which can lead to loss of sex drive. But for the woman who is sure she wants to be sterilized, the operation can increase sexual pleasure because the fear of pregnancy has gone.

Sterilization rarely causes any physical complications or after effects. Some women who ave had the operation complain of long, heavy or irregular periods but there is no conclusive evidence that these problems are more common in sterilized women.

If a woman was on the Pill prior to the operation this would probably have made her periods lighter and more regular than they would normally be, and any increase in flow or irregularity after sterilization may simply be the effects of stopping the Pill; her menstrual cycle merely reverts back to its original pattern. Also women with severe menstrual problems some-times find that the Pill is therefore unsuitable and are accordingly more likely to need sterilization than women with a more normal menstrual pattern.