This report presents data on the prevalence of tubal ligations, vasectomies and remedial sterilizing operations among white couples, with wife aged 20–54, who subscribe to a pre-paid medical care program and live in a suburban area near San Francisco. Contraceptive operations, more than two-thirds of which were male vasectomies, were found among 23 per cent of these couples. Some form of sterilizing surgery (contraceptive or remedial) was found among 31 per cent. The prevalence of surgical sterilization, specifically vasectomies, in this population is high compared with that found across the nation or in the Western states in the 1965 National Fertility Study. Variations in the prevalence of tubal ligations and vasectomies by parity, education and religion are described. Their prevalence increases with the parity of the wife, has a marked inverse relationship with education, and is highest when neither husband nor wife is Catholic.

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