In 1997 after three consecutive abortions while using combinations of contraceptive pill, condom, and morning-after-pill, I was able to convince my family doctor that I wanted no children.
I had been using contraceptive pills since age 14, 1980. My mother was scared shitless that I would become a pregnant teen and I had the choice of house arrest or the pill. I took three months to decide, as I was not yet sexually active, other than kissing.
There were no accidents for many years. Then, upon turning 28, a one-night stand in the backseat of a car in Toronto did the trick. I had tickets to Europe that summer, a 2-1/2 month cycling trip. Within days something felt wrong and got a blood test: negative, pfew. So I went to Europe, but it was an extremely rare example of a false negative (apparently false positives are the more common error), I was pregnant, and by the time I got back to Canada, the first trimester was done. Finding abortion services was extremely difficult and traumatising. But a women's clinic, for a fee, did the D/C. The next abortion 12 months later, was horribly botched by Ontario's Women's Medical College (notice: do not get your abortions there!!!). The third abortion, 12 months later, I went back to Montreal to my original women's clinic.
In January 1997 I sat in my family doctor's office and reiterated my desire for tubal ligation. She referred me to a gynecologist who saw me within a month. We went over my motivations and background. I was pretty brutal in my accusations that the medical patriarchy was responsible for my abortions. He agreed. He said there were two tubal ligation options:
-Stapling: A simple staple is clamped onto the fallopian tube. This method is easily reversible but has the added risk of spontaneous unclamping resulting in unwanted pregnancy.
-Cauterisation: The fallopian tubes are cut with a cauterising tool. This procedure is considered irreversible and carries near zero risk of accidental pregnancy.
Both methods are performed by laparoscopy. This is an out-patient procedure.
The Surgery: Laparoscopy, Bilateral bipolar tubal cautery and cutting.
(Excerpts from my post operative medical report)
With the patient under general anesthesia in the elithotomy position she was prepped and draped in the standard fashion and bladder drained by straight catheter. Examination under anesthesia revealed a normal size mobile anteverted uterus. The adnexa were free of any palpable pathology. The vulva, vagina and cervix were healthy. Laparoscopy was carried out utilizing suprapubic and subumbilical incisions (which are nearly invisible). Excellent view of pelvis was obtained. The uterus was entirely normal and healthy as was the anterior cul-de-sac however on examination of the posterior cul-de-sac it was evident that there was numerous spots of endometriosis. This involved both sidewalls bilaterally under the right ovary with a small endometrioma on the left uterosacral ligament and a larger one at the rectosigmoid junction posterior to the cervix. The tubes and ovaries were otherwise normal and healthy bilaterally. Exploration of her upper abdomen was entirely normal.
The tubes were cauterized with bipolar cautery at 1 and 2 cm segments from the cornua of the uterus. The mid-segment of the cautery effect was then doubly cut. Good result was achieved. Hemostatis was secured. The abdomen was desufflated and all instruments removed and the incisions closed with subcuticular 4-0 Vicryl suture.
I remained in the recovery room only a couple of hours, then released and driven home by a friend. The only difference between what I had been told and the post-op reality was the pain. I was told I would be back to work in a day or two. That was not the case. I had pretty sharp pains (7/10) which lasted about 4-5 days, so I missed one week of work. But once the pain receded it was for good.
I had a post-op appointment with the gynecologist shortly thereafter. He asked me: is sexual intercourse very painful to you? I said: what??? why??? He then explained to me the level of endometriosis he observed during the surgery. I don't I explained, unless the penis is very long and narrow (very rarely). In his opinion, my endometriosis was likely due to the ineptitude of the doctor having performed my second abortion (I had had much pain, and had been only in week two of that pregnancy).
I am to this day very pleased with the surgery and there is absolutely no doubt I made the right decision. Tho my libido is intact, I have found that psychologically speaking, I am less interested in men who are father figures, I think my brain finally clued in that I was wasting my time on men who desired fatherhood.
As for the endometriosis, to this day, the only times I'm aware of it is on my first day of mentruations, where I can get severe 9/10 pain and diarrhea but it's usually only momentary.
May you all find success upon your path to a child-free life.
I 100% agree that the medical patriarchy was at fault for your abortions. One of my gay friends wanted to get a hysterectomy when she was in her mid twenties because she was having so many health problems due to endometriosis. The doctor insisted it was out of the question because of her age (after all, she WAS just a dumb woman and she might change her mind, being that bearing children IS the most important thing in life for women). After a few more painful years, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and they had to take it all out.
Not to make light of abortions and those who get them and perform them, but the other day I was at the gym and they had a dry erase board up that read, "Ask us about
3. Strength Training"
Unfortunately, for them, they left the marker on the board, which caused me to add
4. Teen Pregnancy
I can't be trusted with an unsupervised dry erase board. I'm 41. When I went back the next day, the entire board had disappeared.
I think in the US you are not supposed to get your tubes tied unless you are 28 or have had four children. Most likely this law was made by the pro-life crowd, but just like the pro-life crowd being against birth control, it leads to more abortions, as your story illustrates.
I'm wondering how much this costs without healthcare? I probably can't afford it although I would like to get it. I got on the pill due to irregular periods (before I was sexually active I used to skip periods--later on I'd bleed for several months straight) so I guess I might still have to be on the pill for that?
When I asked my gyno why I had to climb Everest to get my wishes, he said it was due to lawsuits from women who change their minds.
I'd be willing to sit through an hour of baby video ooing and awing as a countermeasure to test my seriousness at non-procreation wishes, something similar to the videos they impose pre-abortion? if it would get the frikin job done! (Not that I agree with the pre-abortion shit).
But surely there's a way keep lawsuits out of this and still let women make decisions... It infuriates me that we can surgically perform any number of organ transplants and artificial limbs replacements but we're unable to reconnect some little tubing. It is a huge scam me thinks.
LoL, nice analogy! I guess the rubuttal would be there's no comparison between a tatoo and sterilisation... but anyhow :)
I sincerely don't remember if I had to sign anything specific in the gyno's office or at the hospital, it was a while back.
Indeed, what the USA government did in Puerto Rican women during decades, sterilising them without them knowing it, during miscellaneous surgeries, was quite horrible. The USA government was glad to have the Puerto Rican territory, just not Boricuans :(
There's an excellent documentary I watched 2-3 years ago. Astonishing what the medical establishment is capable of, it is despicably entwined with certain powers that be. They are not scientific but political. :(
This denial of medical services for tubal ligation is NOT a law. Laws can be contested. This is just a common hospital policy. It's harder to fight because they can deny it exists, refuse to spell out its description, and individual doctors can deny responsibility.
Be persistent, nothing works as well as tubal ligation. What a relief it was for me never to have had to worry about pregnancy between age 24 and menopause.