What is sterilization???
Sterilization is a process in which a person either male or female is made unable to reproduce. It is a method of contraception and one of the most effective ways of birth control. Sterilization does have an old history but the latest evolution in science and medical studies have provided more knowledge of its implementations and methods.
Types of sterilization
Sterilization is done both in men and women and there are different methods of sterilization, we will mainly discuss the surgical methods because that is when informed consent carries utmost importance.
Male sterilization is done by vasectomy. The Vas deferens is a structure in males that connects the testicles to the prostate and is the reason for the mechanical transport of sperm. This connection is cut and ligated and a male becomes infertile for life.
Female sterilization is done either by Bi-tubal Ligation or by hysterectomy depending upon the situation and case background.
- The most common method of female sterilization is Tubal ligation in which both the fallopian tubes are cut and ligated and thus the passage of the egg is blocked forever. The success rate of tubal ligation is very high that is 99%. There are certain prerequisites of tubal ligation and must they must be fulfilled before performing any procedure.
- The second method of female sterilization is the
hysterectomy. In a hysterectomy, the entire uterus of the female is removed. The uterus is the site where an embryo implants and nourishes itself, and a womb is formed. Hysterectomy is often done in aged females and is now restricted to only cases of uterine fibroids or fatal and cancerous uterine conditions. The contraceptive purpose of hysterectomy is not recommended now a day.
Pre-requisites of sterilization
- The family of the couple must be complete
- Both partners must agree on the decision
- Whoever is undergoing the sterilization procedure, fully informed consent is necessary.
Consent for sterilization
Consent for sterilization is very important because it has many implications on social, psychological, and social grounds.
Who can consent to sterilization??
The person who is undergoing the procedure has to consent to it and no one else can legally sign the consent form other than the patient himself.
However, in Asian countries especially the central Asian countries, it is a common practice that the consent of the husband is given prime importance. Without the signatures of the husband and consent written in the husband’s own handwriting, the procedure is never performed.
What to write in the Sterilization consent form?
The patient writes his complete name, his date of birth, date when consent is being signed and he has to mention that he was fully informed about his condition and he fully understands the procedure and outcomes especially the fact that this procedure cannot be reversed no matter what.
The patient has to carefully read the form and then sign it in the presence of the doctor and witnesses from both sides.
Similarly, a doctor also signs the consent form and, in the end,, witnesses from both sides have to sign the consent form.