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.
Alright, I know this is probably bad--but I feel a bit better that it's not magically easy in some parts of the world to get the proper healthcare a woman needs, and somehow I just got the short end of the stick--it's hard everywhere for women to get what they need healthcare wise, and it shouldn't be that way.
I hate how I get treated like I'm not smart enough to make decisions for my own body parts.
That's so funny you say it that way... my signature on my bicycle forum is "your scars reveal you" :)
Kinda like when Klaus Kinski (1926 - 1991) stated:
One should judge a man mainly from his depravities.
Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real.
Please, what is the name of the doctor in Montreal who performed your tubal ligation?
I was thinking about doing essure. I am 24 years old. The doctor I saw kept giving me the "you will change your mind speech" yuck.
Keep pressing the issue, in addition to the regular docs, maybe there could be a psych angle? Speak to as may as you can.