Purpose: The aim of this review is to compare studies concerning female sterilization in order to define the most suitable approach and device for each patient considering timing, safety, cost-effectiveness, failure rate, complication rate and patient satisfaction. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in electronic databases MEDLINE-EMBASE-Sciencedirect and Cochrane Library between 2000 and 2012. All original descriptions, case reports, retrospective and review articles on tubal sterilization methods have been considered. Outcome measures were effectiveness, tolerability, procedure complications and female satisfaction. Results: The ideal female sterilization system should be a simple, safe, highly efficient, easily learned, inexpensive, one-time procedure without negative side-effects. Nowadays, the trans-cervical approach is associated with minimal postoperative pain, allowing short hospitalization and fast resumption of daily activities. Laparoscopic and laparotomic approaches are considered second choices, since, particularly in developing countries, the transcervical hysteroscopic methods will increasingly spread within gynaecological clinical practice. Conclusions: Safety issues, hospital stay, costs and surgeons' experience are important factors in decision-making of the method for female sterilization. Hysteroscopic devices should be preferred when possible. The counselling time remains a fundamental step in choice. The decision concerning method depends on the setting, the surgeon's experience, the country's economical development and the woman's preference.
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