A random sample of married women was surveyed to provide data from a demographic perspective in a general practice of over 9000 patients. 210 out of 216 patients identified as the sample responded: their dates of birth ranged from 1926-1955. Prevalence of male sterilization was estimated by examining the records of 177 husbands of the women who responded to the survey. Of the 210 respondents, 39 or 18.6% had tubal ligation or diathermy; 7 out of the 177 men had vasectomy. 2 women had hysterectomy for medical reasons, while 4 women with infertility problems were still childless during the survey. Sterilized women had slightly larger families and had more menstrual and sexual problems compared with the 'Others' group. The reasons given for sterilization varied: medical (7.7%), psychiatric (5.1%), obstetric (20.5%), social including 'own wish' (66.7%). 38.5% cited difficulty with current contraception as a secondary reason. Other variables studied were husband's occupation, religious belief or conviction, secondary education after 15 years, cigarette smoking and histories of psychotropic drug taking, attempted suicide, infertility and phlebitis or thrombosis. The decision to have sexual sterilization is affected by various cultural, socioeconomic and medical factors, but local non-medical factors (e.g., availability of gynecological and urological beds, arrival of a laparoscope) are just as important determinants.