The 1976 sterilization law in Sweden allowed sterilization for both sexes over the age of 25, while for under 25 official permission was required. In the 1st 1/2 of the 1900's sterilization was used in a large measure for the mentally ill. In the US 19% of married couples got sterilized in 1981; at present there are at least 10 million sterilized couples of fertile age. In the 2nd part of the 1980's about 7000 sterilizations were carried out; 10-15% of Swedish couples chose sterilization as a contraceptive method. During 1976-79 men had 48-31% of sterilizations, in the last 5 years it has stabilized around 19%. At present the sterilization rate is 2.6% in the 25-39 age group in the country of Blekinge contrasted with 1.1% in the county of Kalmar. More than 90% of those sterilized were satisfied with the results. 25-60% did not experience any change or improved sexual life. 10-15% of men reported complications of hematoma, infections, and pain. Women had postoperative infections and bleedings, even damage to internal organs. Long-term negative complications include regret (about 5%), unplanned pregnancy, negative effect on sexual life, and bleeding and pain in women. 1/3 of those sterilized under age 30 admit having regretted the operation at one time or another. Every 6th seriously considers refertilization. Among women the pregnancy rate is .5-1% after the operation, while .5% of men stay fertile after vasectomy. 4-7% of women complained of negative effects on sex life vs. 3% of men. Bleeding disorders occurred in about 17% of sterilized women, 15% had dysmenorrhea, and up to 18% complained of abdominal pain. Easily accessible preoperative counselling increased male sterilization to over 30% in 1 country. Yet 4 out of 5 sterilization seekers are women because of their shorter fertility period, pregnancy complications experienced, and high probability of refertilization.