sterilization

1. The act or process by which an individual is rendered incapable of fertilization or reproduction, as by vasectomy, partial salpingectomy, or castration. 2. The destruction of all microorganisms in or about an object, as by steam (flowing or pressurized), chemical agents (alcohol, phenol, heavy metals, ethylene oxide gas), high-velocity electron bombardment, heat, or ultraviolet light radiation.
- discontinuous s. SYN: fractional s..
- fractional s. exposure to a temperature of 100°C (flowing steam) for a definite period, usually an hour, on each of several days; at each heating the developed bacteria are destroyed; spores, which are unaffected, germinate during the intervening periods and are subsequently destroyed. SYN: discontinuous s., intermittent s., tyndallization.
- intermittent s. SYN: fractional s..

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n.
1. a surgical operation or any other process that induces sterility in men or women. In women, hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy (surgical removal of both ovaries) are 100% effective and permanent. Alternatively, the Fallopian tubes may be removed (see salpingectomy) or divided and/or ligated. These operations can be performed through the abdomen or the vagina. The modern technique (tubal occlusion) is to occlude (close) permanently the inner (lower) half of the Fallopian tube through a laparoscope. The occluding device is usually a clip (the Hulka-Clemens or Filshie clips) or a small plastic ring (Falope ring); diathermy coagulation carries greater dangers (e.g. bowel burns) and is now little used. A more recent method is the use of a rapid-setting plastic introduced into the tubes through a hysteroscope. Men are usually sterilized by vasectomy. See also castration.
2. the process by which all types of microorganisms (including spores) are destroyed. This is achieved by the use of heat, radiation, chemicals, or filtration. See also autoclave.

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ster·i·li·za·tion (ster″ĭ-lĭ-zaґshən) 1. the complete destruction or elimination of all living microorganisms, accomplished by physical methods (dry or moist heat), chemical agents (ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, alcohol), radiation (ultraviolet, cathode), or mechanical methods (filtration). 2. any procedure by which an individual is made incapable of reproduction, as by castration, vasectomy, or salpingectomy.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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