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Men & Women: Sterilization

DivaDiamond007

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I recently read an article (I think it was on Yahoo Shine) about how the vasectomy business is booming with young men getting cut to avoid fathering unwanted children. Apparently, it is relatively easy for a young man (early 20's) to get snipped with no questions asked. Why is it then, that if a woman wanted to have a tubal or hysterectomy at the same age she is denied?

Personally, I have 2 children and I'm done. I'm 29 and getting prepped for a hysterectomy due to medical issues. However, prior to the medical issues I was told by my OB/GYN and primary doctor that I am too young for either procedure.

Discuss/comment. Feeling slighted as a woman today after Pandora's thread on women being made criminals after suffering a miscarriage.
 

JulieN

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I consider tubal to be major surgery, and a hysterectomy to be major, MAJOR surgery.

Wikipedia says hospital stay of 2-5 days, serious limitations to daily activities are expected for a minimum of 4 months, and full recovery takes 6-12 months. Recovery time for vasectomies are expected to be a week, and can be done as an out-patient procedure under local anesthesia. I don't think these two surgeries are in the least comparable. Your insurance wouldn't cover it unless medically necessary, and it has nothing to do with women being slighted.

If you were done having children and you had no medical issues, any reason why your husband didn't elect for a vasectomy?
 

maplefemme

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I'm 37 now and I had a tubal ligation done when I was 24 via Hulka Clips. I don't regret it at all but I did have one hell of a time getting someone to do it due to my age, I went to 11 Dr's before I finally found one who said yes.
It's a laparoscopic day surgery done under general anesthesia, I walked out same day with minor cramping and discomfort but no pain.
I cannot take the pill and an IUD was not effective, for me this was the best option as I do not wish to have children. I love them, but my lifestyle is not conducive to having them. I work in war torn regions and take personal risks doing so, I'm not about to risk orphaning a child.
I'm in the medical field myself now and I feel that these procedures are elective in nature and whilst it's the Dr's responsibility to advise a patient of the pros and cons of the procedure and all its ramifications; it is ultimately the patient's choice - or at least it should be.
Alas, as with many circumstances within the medical field, you have to be your own fierce advocate and be persistent, if you really want the procedure done it is YOUR choice, not your GYN/OB or Dr's and sometimes you have to remind them of that fact.
Hulka's are reversible, depending on the stats of each clinic's success rate, you see an average of 75% success rate in reversals for pregnancy.
 

Pandora II

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I think it's a lot to do with it being major surgery and the hormonal effects afterwards (if you have ovaries removed as well).

A vasectomy takes about 20 minutes under local anaesthetic and has minimal recovery time (unless you are asking the man in which case it is major surgery and probably needs 8 weeks off work and being hand-fed peeled grapes). A hysterectomy is a much, much bigger deal.

On the whole reproductive side I find it odd how much more counselling seems recommended for women versus men...
 

ksinger

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Pandora|1309381058|2958311 said:
I think it's a lot to do with it being major surgery and the hormonal effects afterwards (if you have ovaries removed as well).

A vasectomy takes about 20 minutes under local anaesthetic and has minimal recovery time (unless you are asking the man in which case it is major surgery and probably needs 8 weeks off work and being hand-fed peeled grapes). A hysterectomy is a much, much bigger deal.

On the whole reproductive side I find it odd how much more counselling seems recommended for women versus men...
Yes, simply snipping a tube is so incredibly different than a surgery that will leave a nice void in the abdomen for everything else to shift into. Still it's odd when you still have to consider the attitude that considers women's body parts pretty much disposable. And I'm always amazed at how many women think it too. Although, as often as doctors try to railroad us women into hysterectomies, it is a bit galling that age would have that much to do with it. Concern for the supposedly fluff-headed young pretty breeders, but hey, you oldsters? RIP THAT PUPPY OUT!! Disposable! It'll be great!! :rolleyes:
 

Lady_Disdain

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If a doctor is arguing against a hysterectomy or tubal ligation from a health point of view (major surgery, recovery, etc), then they should give the pros and cons and let the woman decide. After all, some liposuction are hardly small procedures and are done routinely. However, many doctors are telling women "I won't do it because you will change your mind later". I have heard that one myself. That is patronizing and unacceptable, in my book.

By the way, while hysterectomy is major, considering "the big void", hormones, etc, but how major is a tubal ligation? I imagine it could be done as a microsurgery, if some heart procedures are done by microsurgery.
 

DivaDiamond007

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JulieN|1309376003|2958239 said:
I consider tubal to be major surgery, and a hysterectomy to be major, MAJOR surgery.

Wikipedia says hospital stay of 2-5 days, serious limitations to daily activities are expected for a minimum of 4 months, and full recovery takes 6-12 months. Recovery time for vasectomies are expected to be a week, and can be done as an out-patient procedure under local anesthesia. I don't think these two surgeries are in the least comparable. Your insurance wouldn't cover it unless medically necessary, and it has nothing to do with women being slighted.

If you were done having children and you had no medical issues, any reason why your husband didn't elect for a vasectomy?


Julie: My husband did get a vasectomy, prior to my having medical issues. I feel a teeny tiny bit bad for him, but we both agreed that he would have it done after the birth of our second child.

I am not talking about the difference between major surgery (female sterilization v. male) but rather the ease in which men are able to secure a vasectomy whereas a (young-ish) woman has a much harder time. Woman are told things like "you're too young" and "you'll change your mind" and a man isn't even questioned. That's what gets me.

I am also not talking about cases where woman are told to go ahead with a hysterectomy to solve a problem that could be dealt with in other ways i.e. heavy bleeding.
 

DivaDiamond007

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Lady_Disdain|1309387977|2958405 said:
If a doctor is arguing against a hysterectomy or tubal ligation from a health point of view (major surgery, recovery, etc), then they should give the pros and cons and let the woman decide. After all, some liposuction are hardly small procedures and are done routinely. However, many doctors are telling women "I won't do it because you will change your mind later". I have heard that one myself. That is patronizing and unacceptable, in my book.

By the way, while hysterectomy is major, considering "the big void", hormones, etc, but how major is a tubal ligation? I imagine it could be done as a microsurgery, if some heart procedures are done by microsurgery.

According to my OB/GYN a tubal can be done laproscopically, as can a hysterectomy. You can even have a hysterectomy vaginally!
 

maplefemme

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DivaDiamond007|1309388698|2958420 said:
Lady_Disdain|1309387977|2958405 said:
If a doctor is arguing against a hysterectomy or tubal ligation from a health point of view (major surgery, recovery, etc), then they should give the pros and cons and let the woman decide. After all, some liposuction are hardly small procedures and are done routinely. However, many doctors are telling women "I won't do it because you will change your mind later". I have heard that one myself. That is patronizing and unacceptable, in my book.

By the way, while hysterectomy is major, considering "the big void", hormones, etc, but how major is a tubal ligation? I imagine it could be done as a microsurgery, if some heart procedures are done by microsurgery.

According to my OB/GYN a tubal can be done laproscopically, as can a hysterectomy. You can even have a hysterectomy vaginally!
I was discharged same day with my tubal and back to work after a couple of days, it's a quick surgery, I had no pain.
 

jstarfireb

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Lady_Disdain|1309387977|2958405 said:
However, many doctors are telling women "I won't do it because you will change your mind later". I have heard that one myself. That is patronizing and unacceptable, in my book.
I agree 100%. It should be a woman's choice, informed but not forced either way by medical professionals. However, I think part of this is medicolegal. A lot of doctors are concerned that women who do change their minds (and many, MANY do...my own mom didn't want to have kids when she was younger, and here I am...) will come back and sue them for doing the procedure. In this over-litigious day and age, it's not unreasonable to be concerned about that.
 

JulieN

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DivaDiamond007|1309388564|2958417 said:
I am not talking about the difference between major surgery (female sterilization v. male) but rather the ease in which men are able to secure a vasectomy whereas a (young-ish) woman has a much harder time. Woman are told things like "you're too young" and "you'll change your mind" and a man isn't even questioned. That's what gets me.

I am also not talking about cases where woman are told to go ahead with a hysterectomy to solve a problem that could be dealt with in other ways i.e. heavy bleeding.
I guess I don't understand... you are saying that you think women who want elective hysterectomies for purposes of sterilization should be able to get them without any objections from their doctor? As patronizing as it may seem, I think women really do change their mind quite often about these things.
 

ksinger

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JulieN|1309397051|2958571 said:
DivaDiamond007|1309388564|2958417 said:
I am not talking about the difference between major surgery (female sterilization v. male) but rather the ease in which men are able to secure a vasectomy whereas a (young-ish) woman has a much harder time. Woman are told things like "you're too young" and "you'll change your mind" and a man isn't even questioned. That's what gets me.

I am also not talking about cases where woman are told to go ahead with a hysterectomy to solve a problem that could be dealt with in other ways i.e. heavy bleeding.
I guess I don't understand... you are saying that you think women who want elective hysterectomies for purposes of sterilization should be able to get them without any objections from their doctor? As patronizing as it may seem, I think women really do change their mind quite often about these things.
I'll chime in (if I may) As much as I think that women should not be patronized by doctors who may treat them like they don't know their own minds, to desire a hysterectomy at a young age simply for the reasons of birth control is not really rational. Sterilization can be done without something so radical. So, strictly from a "is this a normal thing to want" perspective, I think a doctor would be right to push back on that. Now, if I come in wanting a simple tubal, that's a different story. But a full hysterectomy? Um. No. He should be as suspicious of that as he would be if a guy came in asking to have his testicles removed simply to avoid fathering a child. The fact that in the end, many doctors probably WOULD do a hysterectomy just shows how women's reproductive organs are seen as disposable "objects" rather than a truly integral part of a person. And don't even get me started on doctors who push and push and PUSH you to have one for the slightest HINT of a problem. Infuriating.
 

jstarfireb

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To take the major vs. minor surgery issue out of the equation, look at this: http://www.essure.com/

Essure is an office-based or outpatient surgical procedure where coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes to create scarring. The result isn't immediate, but it leads to a permanent loss of fertility similar to a tubal ligation (but less invasive).

So compare that to vasectomy...do I think a young woman asking for Essure is more likely to be turned away than a young man asking for a vasectomy? Absolutely. And there's the double standard.

ETA: Ksinger, I don't think anyone asks for hysterectomy as a form of birth control, and most doctors don't push it unless they think a woman's quality of life will be improved (e.g. resolution of anemia from heavy bleeding from fibroids, survival after taking out a cancerous uterus, etc.). Most women seeking permanent sterilization are talking about a tubal ligation.
 

lyra

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I'm in Canada and it was quite easy to get a tubal ligation (clips) on demand. I think I was 34. For me it wasn't a big deal at all. I was sick of my husband getting squeamish and procrastinating so I just offered to do the surgery rather than stress him further. ;)) I could fairly easily get a hysterectomy now too, but I'm 49. Obviously the doctors don't want to take on an "elective" hysterectomy without some justification other than for birth control reasons. I haven't heard about that new trend with young men. That would be good news in a way, at least they're taking some responsibility. I was counselled before my tubal that this was to be thought of as a permanent decision. I believe as long as you are willing to make that permanent decision here, you can get the operation.
 

ksinger

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jstarfireb|1309401923|2958645 said:
To take the major vs. minor surgery issue out of the equation, look at this: http://www.essure.com/

Essure is an office-based or outpatient surgical procedure where coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes to create scarring. The result isn't immediate, but it leads to a permanent loss of fertility similar to a tubal ligation (but less invasive).

So compare that to vasectomy...do I think a young woman asking for Essure is more likely to be turned away than a young man asking for a vasectomy? Absolutely. And there's the double standard.

ETA: Ksinger, I don't think anyone asks for hysterectomy as a form of birth control, and most doctors don't push it unless they think a woman's quality of life will be improved (e.g. resolution of anemia from heavy bleeding from fibroids, survival after taking out a cancerous uterus, etc.). Most women seeking permanent sterilization are talking about a tubal ligation.

I truly am aware of that it is mostly unlikely, but it was mentioned in the same breath as a tubal, and in a world where people as for and receive plastic surgery to make them look like cats or lizards, or where a 60 year old woman can find a doctor to restart her ovaries so she can get pregnant, I'm sure someone at least, has asked for a hysterectomy at a young age.

You'll have to forgive me though if I have a jaundiced view of the medical profession's view of women's reproductive organs. Considering the almost insane frequency of hysterectomies for what frequently amounts to paltry reasons, somebody is quite clearly pushing them, and I don't believe that pushing originated with patients. And by that you may assume I have a personal axe to grind about this issue. But I'm one of those patients who doesn't suffer from being overawed and swayed by another person's idea of what my quality of life "ought" to be. I'll just say I'm fine healthwise and leave it at that. But I will say that if I had been more "compliant" I would now be missing a rather important piece of myself.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Getting a hysterectomy for birth control is over the top, I agree, and the doctor should steer the woman towards a more appropriate choice (tubal ligation). But I wish it was as easy for me to get a ligation as it is for my BF (who is younger than I, by the way) to get a vasectomy. That double standard is alive and well.
 

MonkeyPie

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I know sooooo many women in my company that have gotten a tubal, then gotten divorced/lost a child/inherited or something crazy that you would never consider happening to you, and they realized they did still want one more baby. And then it costs an arm and a leg for invitro, or they simply have to live with the realization that they are done, even though they don't want to be.

Think of it this way - a man cannot have a child alone, without the physical involvement of another person. A woman can. So of course a woman can change her mind! I think it's good for a woman to wait, unless she literally has no other BC option that works for her and/or has issues she wants to rid herself of. I never wanted kids, I always asked my doctor at every gyno appointment how old I had to be now to get a tubal ligation. Then I met DH.

I'm not saying that any woman does not know her own mind, or cannot make her own choices. But doctors are trying to make life EASIER for women when they recommend waiting - they aren't doing it because they think you're stupid.
 

maplefemme

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MonkeyPie|1309450160|2959107 said:
I know sooooo many women in my company that have gotten a tubal, then gotten divorced/lost a child/inherited or something crazy that you would never consider happening to you, and they realized they did still want one more baby. And then it costs an arm and a leg for invitro, or they simply have to live with the realization that they are done, even though they don't want to be.

Think of it this way - a man cannot have a child alone, without the physical involvement of another person. A woman can. So of course a woman can change her mind! I think it's good for a woman to wait, unless she literally has no other BC option that works for her and/or has issues she wants to rid herself of. I never wanted kids, I always asked my doctor at every gyno appointment how old I had to be now to get a tubal ligation. Then I met DH.

I'm not saying that any woman does not know her own mind, or cannot make her own choices. But doctors are trying to make life EASIER for women when they recommend waiting - they aren't doing it because they think you're stupid.
I agree, most doctors are trying to look out for patient's best interests, people can change their minds. But reversing a tubal carries a high success rate of pregnancy after, an average of 75% do not require IVF and get pregnant naturally. Yes it's possible that conception might be an issue and require IVF but statistically the odds are high you won't. Again, all things that need to be considered seriously before getting the procedure done or not.
 

megumic

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I'm usually the first one to throw-down on a double standard, but in this instance, I actually think it is warranted based on the many reasons PPs have cited.

I don't have time to elaborate, but someone mentioned that drs should just give women informed consent and let them decide. In the case of transgender individuals seeking to alter their genitals or to have a hysterectomy (in case of female to male transition) they are required to have approval from a psychologist and to live as the other gender for at least one full year. While it's a different situation because transgenderism is listed in the DSM and because the motivation for the surgery is different, I believe the basis of a physician pushing back when a woman requests an elective hysterectomy are for the same reasons there are requirements for transgender elective surgery.
 

Natylad

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When i gave birth to my first daughter at the age of 27, i was discussing with my doctor my birth control options. I don't remember exactly how this came up, but my doctor told me that many of "his women" (that's how he calls all of us, his patients :D ) come and ask him for a hysterectomy or tubal ligation after they have finished giving birth to the number of children that they wanted.
He said that he doesn't do it unless there is a very serious reason and he strongly advises women to avoid it.
In order to make me understand why does he feel so strongly on the matter, he told me the story of one of his patients who was happily married and had three kids. She was absolutely sure that she didn't want any more children and went to him with the specific request. He said no and spent a long time talking to her and finally convinced her to use the spiral contraception.
Unfortunately, one day her husband and all three children were in their car going home and there was a terrible accident in which all of them died. I will skip the rest of the details and get to the end of the story. Years after that terrible incident, this woman managed to put her pieces back together, she met a very good man and she got pregnant again at the age of 42. My doctor said that he will never forget how much she was crying and was thanking him for not leting her give up on her reproductive ability. She told him that thanks to this new baby she felt that she still has a chance in life...
I took the time to share this story with everybody,because i believe that doctors should definitely try to discourage women from taking such drastic decisions, when there are other ways to take care of contraception.And personally, after seeing the hell that many of my dear friends have been through in order to get pregnant with artificial insemination after years of trying, i feel that being able to have babies, even if you decide not to have them after all, is a great and precious gift from God and nature and it shouldn't be thrown out of the window. I know that many people here might strongly disagree with the way i see things but that's just my personal opinion.
 

FrekeChild

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Ok, so if someone is sterilized and something happens and she wants to have children, why is adoption not even considered?

Sure, I'm knocked up now, but adoption was ALWAYS the first option for me. Until about 3 weeks before I became pregnant. And should something happen to this child, we will adopt. Should we decide on a second child? We will adopt. There are many many children out there who need homes.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine because my parents couldn't conceive. So they adopted me.

My husband plans on having a vasectomy sometime after our child is born. He would like to spare me the invasive procedures I'd have to go through to be sterilized. Having said that, I have an Essure brochure floating around here somewhere...
 

megumic

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FrekeChild|1309487259|2959580 said:
Ok, so if someone is sterilized and something happens and she wants to have children, why is adoption not even considered?

Sure, I'm knocked up now, but adoption was ALWAYS the first option for me. Until about 3 weeks before I became pregnant. And should something happen to this child, we will adopt. Should we decide on a second child? We will adopt. There are many many children out there who need homes.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine because my parents couldn't conceive. So they adopted me.

My husband plans on having a vasectomy sometime after our child is born. He would like to spare me the invasive procedures I'd have to go through to be sterilized. Having said that, I have an Essure brochure floating around here somewhere...
You make a great point and I don't think it's not that others wouldn't consider it, I just think that in the context of the OP this thread has gone down the road of discussing the ins and outs of electively removing an organ and/or electively having a procedure done to have the organ not function as it's intended and the ethics and double standard surrounding the topic.

Personally, adoption is one of our hopes and dreams. We'd like 5 kids, a few of our own and a few adopted. God willing this will happen!
 

jstarfireb

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ksinger|1309405361|2958722 said:
jstarfireb|1309401923|2958645 said:
To take the major vs. minor surgery issue out of the equation, look at this: http://www.essure.com/

Essure is an office-based or outpatient surgical procedure where coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes to create scarring. The result isn't immediate, but it leads to a permanent loss of fertility similar to a tubal ligation (but less invasive).

So compare that to vasectomy...do I think a young woman asking for Essure is more likely to be turned away than a young man asking for a vasectomy? Absolutely. And there's the double standard.

ETA: Ksinger, I don't think anyone asks for hysterectomy as a form of birth control, and most doctors don't push it unless they think a woman's quality of life will be improved (e.g. resolution of anemia from heavy bleeding from fibroids, survival after taking out a cancerous uterus, etc.). Most women seeking permanent sterilization are talking about a tubal ligation.

I truly am aware of that it is mostly unlikely, but it was mentioned in the same breath as a tubal, and in a world where people as for and receive plastic surgery to make them look like cats or lizards, or where a 60 year old woman can find a doctor to restart her ovaries so she can get pregnant, I'm sure someone at least, has asked for a hysterectomy at a young age.

You'll have to forgive me though if I have a jaundiced view of the medical profession's view of women's reproductive organs. Considering the almost insane frequency of hysterectomies for what frequently amounts to paltry reasons, somebody is quite clearly pushing them, and I don't believe that pushing originated with patients. And by that you may assume I have a personal axe to grind about this issue. But I'm one of those patients who doesn't suffer from being overawed and swayed by another person's idea of what my quality of life "ought" to be. I'll just say I'm fine healthwise and leave it at that. But I will say that if I had been more "compliant" I would now be missing a rather important piece of myself.
Good points. I do think there are 2 separate issues being discussed here...(1) the double standard of female vs. male sterilization; and (2) jumping straight to hysterectomy when there's a problem with the uterus. I'm certainly not trying to be argumentative or to single you out, ksinger, but I'd just like to say that I don't really understand many women's attachment to their uterus. When I had appendicitis, they took out my appendix. When my mom had gallstones, they took out her gallbladder. And if I develop some problem with my uterus that threatens my quality or length of life, it's coming out, no questions asked! My uterus is no more important or special to me than an appendix or gallbladder. Just my personal view, and obviously not everyone sees things the same way.

Oh, and for those who are concerned about the uterus leaving a big void for other organs to slip into, no worries...the non-pregnant uterus is a really small organ, smaller than the palm of your hand. It's also in the pelvis rather than the abdomen, which are separated by a membrane called the peritoneum, so your abdominal organs will not slip into your pelvis.
 

makemepretty

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I had a tubal at 26. My doctor didn't give me a hard time, just asked me if I was sure. I had two miscarriages and two live births and being pregnant was hard on my body. I also knew that while I would probably always have baby blues, financially two would even be more than we could handle. He is the sweetest doctor so I feel for anyone who has to "convince" their doctor what is right for their own body.
 

Pandora II

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FrekeChild|1309487259|2959580 said:
Ok, so if someone is sterilized and something happens and she wants to have children, why is adoption not even considered?

Sure, I'm knocked up now, but adoption was ALWAYS the first option for me. Until about 3 weeks before I became pregnant. And should something happen to this child, we will adopt. Should we decide on a second child? We will adopt. There are many many children out there who need homes.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine because my parents couldn't conceive. So they adopted me.

My husband plans on having a vasectomy sometime after our child is born. He would like to spare me the invasive procedures I'd have to go through to be sterilized. Having said that, I have an Essure brochure floating around here somewhere...
I don't know what the rules are in the USA, but here in the UK I would never be able to adopt a child. I have bipolar disorder - despite being total stable it is on my medical records and would mean an automatic no.


I'm also another who was never ever having kids - who now has a very wanted 2 year-old. Even though we are probably not having another, I have told DH that if anything was to happen to our daughter we would try for another.

Having see so many of my 'child-free by choice' friends suddenly getting PG in their late 30's, early 40's I wonder if doctors are really being patronising. It may feel like that to the individual but they see hundreds troop through their doors every year.

A friend of mine who is an OB/Gyn says it's quite strange seeing the same people who were desperate not to get pregnant now in the middle of IVF treatment to get pregnant.
 

MonkeyPie

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Just to echo Pandora - not everyone can afford to adopt. Most people can, however, afford to produce a child from their own body.
 

Octavia

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natyLad|1309465260|2959355 said:
When i gave birth to my first daughter at the age of 27, i was discussing with my doctor my birth control options. I don't remember exactly how this came up, but my doctor told me that many of "his women" (that's how he calls all of us, his patients :D ) come and ask him for a hysterectomy or tubal ligation after they have finished giving birth to the number of children that they wanted.
He said that he doesn't do it unless there is a very serious reason and he strongly advises women to avoid it.
In order to make me understand why does he feel so strongly on the matter, he told me the story of one of his patients who was happily married and had three kids. She was absolutely sure that she didn't want any more children and went to him with the specific request. He said no and spent a long time talking to her and finally convinced her to use the spiral contraception.
Unfortunately, one day her husband and all three children were in their car going home and there was a terrible accident in which all of them died. I will skip the rest of the details and get to the end of the story. Years after that terrible incident, this woman managed to put her pieces back together, she met a very good man and she got pregnant again at the age of 42. My doctor said that he will never forget how much she was crying and was thanking him for not leting her give up on her reproductive ability. She told him that thanks to this new baby she felt that she still has a chance in life...
I took the time to share this story with everybody,because i believe that doctors should definitely try to discourage women from taking such drastic decisions, when there are other ways to take care of contraception.And personally, after seeing the hell that many of my dear friends have been through in order to get pregnant with artificial insemination after years of trying, i feel that being able to have babies, even if you decide not to have them after all, is a great and precious gift from God and nature and it shouldn't be thrown out of the window. I know that many people here might strongly disagree with the way i see things but that's just my personal opinion.
NatyLad, wouldn't it be the same if it were the man who lost his wife and three children, met a new partner, and was glad he hadn't had a vasectomy? Your argument seems to be against sterilization in general, but I see no reason why it should apply differently to women than to men. And for your doctor's one grateful patient, I wonder how many women left his practice or were forced to live with the side effects of hormonal birth control they didn't want to use because of his refusal to perform tubals.

Obviously, the decision to cut off reproductive function is a big one and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. But a woman who has had a tubal still has the (albeit expensive and time-consuming) option of IVF if she really, really regrets it later on. It's not guaranteed, but neither is the "natural" way. A hysterectomy for birth control purposes is another issue altogether and not one I generally agree with. Vasectomies aren't always reversible, either, so men who go into it thinking they can just get it undone later could be in for a rude shock someday if they decedent they want kiss after all. So what's their option then, to watch their wives try to get pregnant using donor sperm? Yet doctors don't prevent them from having the procedure the way women are prevented. It's absolutely a double standard, even allowing for the differences in the degree of difficulty between the procedures.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
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jstarfireb|1309499917|2959667 said:
ksinger|1309405361|2958722 said:
jstarfireb|1309401923|2958645 said:
To take the major vs. minor surgery issue out of the equation, look at this: http://www.essure.com/

Essure is an office-based or outpatient surgical procedure where coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes to create scarring. The result isn't immediate, but it leads to a permanent loss of fertility similar to a tubal ligation (but less invasive).

So compare that to vasectomy...do I think a young woman asking for Essure is more likely to be turned away than a young man asking for a vasectomy? Absolutely. And there's the double standard.

ETA: Ksinger, I don't think anyone asks for hysterectomy as a form of birth control, and most doctors don't push it unless they think a woman's quality of life will be improved (e.g. resolution of anemia from heavy bleeding from fibroids, survival after taking out a cancerous uterus, etc.). Most women seeking permanent sterilization are talking about a tubal ligation.

I truly am aware of that it is mostly unlikely, but it was mentioned in the same breath as a tubal, and in a world where people as for and receive plastic surgery to make them look like cats or lizards, or where a 60 year old woman can find a doctor to restart her ovaries so she can get pregnant, I'm sure someone at least, has asked for a hysterectomy at a young age.

You'll have to forgive me though if I have a jaundiced view of the medical profession's view of women's reproductive organs. Considering the almost insane frequency of hysterectomies for what frequently amounts to paltry reasons, somebody is quite clearly pushing them, and I don't believe that pushing originated with patients. And by that you may assume I have a personal axe to grind about this issue. But I'm one of those patients who doesn't suffer from being overawed and swayed by another person's idea of what my quality of life "ought" to be. I'll just say I'm fine healthwise and leave it at that. But I will say that if I had been more "compliant" I would now be missing a rather important piece of myself.
Good points. I do think there are 2 separate issues being discussed here...(1) the double standard of female vs. male sterilization; and (2) jumping straight to hysterectomy when there's a problem with the uterus. I'm certainly not trying to be argumentative or to single you out, ksinger, but I'd just like to say that I don't really understand many women's attachment to their uterus. When I had appendicitis, they took out my appendix. When my mom had gallstones, they took out her gallbladder. And if I develop some problem with my uterus that threatens my quality or length of life, it's coming out, no questions asked! My uterus is no more important or special to me than an appendix or gallbladder. Just my personal view, and obviously not everyone sees things the same way.

Oh, and for those who are concerned about the uterus leaving a big void for other organs to slip into, no worries...the non-pregnant uterus is a really small organ, smaller than the palm of your hand. It's also in the pelvis rather than the abdomen, which are separated by a membrane called the peritoneum, so your abdominal organs will not slip into your pelvis.
I don't take offense all that easily, but that comment is perilously close to doing it. It's a stretch to say I'm attached to my uterus, since I did not, nor will I, explain the situation. If the problems were bad enough, I'd have surgery in a heartbeat. The doctor was pushy and insistent even when I assured him that my quality of life was just fine thank you.

I am equally bemused by women who rush to get an organ removed at the first hint of inconvenience or the faintest whiff of discomfort.
I know it's from the evil Wikipedia, but I'm in a hurry so...

" It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure. In 2003, over 600,000 hysterectomies were performed in the United States alone, of which over 90% were performed for benign conditions.[1] Such rates being highest in the industrialized world has led to the major controversy that hysterectomies are being largely performed for unwarranted and unnecessary reasons."

'nuff said.
 
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