Human Sterilization and Informed Consent

Provider Type

  • Physicians
  • Participating Physician Groups (PPG)
  • Hospitals
  • Ancillary

Providers must inform Medi-Cal members before they undergo sterilization procedures and providers must obtain the member's consent.

Sterilization performed because pregnancy would be life-threatening to the mother (therapeutic sterilization) is included in this requirement; however, sterilization that is the unavoidable secondary result of a medical procedure, and the procedure is not being done in order to achieve it, is not. Procedures that would ordinarily require consent are excluded if the member is already sterile.

Required Information

Providers must provide members to be sterilized with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)-published brochure on sterilization before obtaining consent. The following are the only sterilization information booklets approved by DHCS:

  • Permanent Birth Control for Women
  • Metodo Anticonceptivo Permanente Femenino
  • Permanent Birth Control for Men
  • Metodo Anticonceptivo Permanente Masculino

Providers can log in to the DHCS website to download and print the booklets.

A physician or designee who obtains consent for the sterilization procedure must offer to answer any questions the member may have regarding the procedure. In addition, all of the following must be discussed with the member seeking to be sterilized:

  • A full description of available alternative methods of family planning and birth control
  • A description of benefits or advantages that may be expected as a result of the sterilization
  • A thorough explanation of the specific sterilization procedure to be performed, including information on whether the procedure is established or new
  • The name of provider performing the procedure. If another provider is substituted, the member must be notified prior to anesthesia of the new provider's name and the reason for the change
  • Advice that the sterilization procedure is considered irreversible
  • A full description of the discomforts and risks that may accompany or follow the procedure, including an explanation of the type and possible side effects of any anesthesia
  • Approximate length of hospital stay, recovery time and any cost to the member
  • Advice that the sterilization will not be performed for at least 30 days (except in the case of emergency abdominal surgery or premature birth, and then only when specific criteria is fully met)
  • Advice that the member is free to withhold or withdraw consent at any time before the procedure without affecting the right to future care or treatment and without loss or withdrawal of any federally funded program benefits to which the member might be entitled

The provider must fully and correctly complete the Consent Form PM 330 after discussing the above topics with the member. Refer to the Certification of Informed Consent for Reproductive Sterilization discussion below for about completing the Consent Form PM 330.