To assess the effect of tubal sterilization on the risk of hysterectomy, we studied 7414 women aged 20 to 49 years who had had a tubal sterilization at a health maintenance organization between January 1, 1968, and December 31,1983. Compared with a population-based cohort of nonsterilized women, women sterilized while 20 to 29 years old were 3.4 times more likely to have had a subsequent hysterectomy (95% confidence interval, 2.4 to 4.7). Adjustment for the effects of potential confounders with a subset of 276 women did not appreciably alter this association. For multivariate comparisons with 5323 wives of vasectomized men, there was no significant elevation in the risk of hysterectomy following sterilization among women sterilized while 20 to 29 years old. Tubal sterilization was not associated with hysterectomy for married women who underwent tubal sterilization at age 30 or older. These results do not support a biological basis for the relationship between tubal sterilization and hysterectomy.