Tubal Ligation Harder to Get Than an Abortion?

Charlie - posted on 01/02/2011 ( 39 moms have responded )

11,203

111

409

We've all heard the "rules" about getting sterilized. Over 25, have two children, blah blah blah. The military even requires a counseling session before you can get a referral to the doctor who would perform the surgery.



We recently asked if a 27-year-old woman was too young to decide she never wanted to have children. Some said yes, others said no.



I had my own experience of a doctor being incredibly rude and angry with me when I went in to get my referral to therapy so I could go get my tubal. But honestly, what right does anyone have to put any of these restrictions on the procedure?



First, the counseling sessions offered are generally a joke. If you're going to them to get your tubes tied, yes, you're "sure" that's what you want right then. If you aren't, why bother jumping through the hoops?



I'm sure the therapist's job is likely to pose all the hard questions to you, such as "What if one of your children died?" and "What if you got divorced and remarried?" I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most women who are ready to be officially done have already considered these things, though honestly, I'm probably wrong and there are women who have some random, '"Oh, I didn't think of that!" revelation in the office. Or something.



But the thing that bothers me the most is that America is a country where we ask 16-year-olds to be responsible with a potentially deadly weapon (a car), we ask 18-year-olds to shoot and kill people and risk their own lives at war and vote on the future of this country and be tried as adults in court, and yet we still question whether or a 27-year-old is capable of deciding for herself if she wants to have children, or MORE children?



Really? Is it just me, or does that make no sense at all?



My doctor got angry with me when I told her, after she kept pushing, that I was sure enough that I would abort if I got pregnant now. I also told her that I realized that if I REALLY regretted it, IVF or adoption were both options. Probably the clincher that made her slam the door though, was when she told me if it were up to her, she wouldn't do it, and I told her it was a good thing it wasn't up to her or I'd have to get a new doctor.



Let me note too this was the first time I'd even met this particular woman, so she decided within a period of 5 minutes that despite my 7+ year marriage, my two children (one of each gender), and my knowledge of all my options, that she knew better than me what I should do with my entire life. In fact, each time I mentioned one more point I'd already considered, she seemed to get more pissed off. I wanted it done immediately after my daughter's birth when the procedure is easier due to the enlarged uterus, but at 38 weeks, they still hadn't even worked with me to schedule the counseling, and you "can't" have it done after birth without counseling.



I get that they're trying to prevent women from making mistakes, but I think the way they go about it is all wrong. Honestly, just have women sign waivers stating that if they choose to attempt a reversal and it fails, they cannot hold anyone responsible. How hard is that? That's the concern anyway, isn't it?



What do you all think? Do you think women should have to jump through hoops to get a tubal?



http://thestir.cafemom.com/pregnancy/114...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mary - posted on 01/04/2011

3,348

31

123

I agree with Sarah. My perspective on this is shaped by having seen women who later regretted having their tubes tied because of a drastic, unforeseen change in life circumstances.



One patient had 3 children in her first marriage. At 25, she "knew" without question that she was done having children, and lobbied long and hard to get her tubes tied. Her doctor finally agreed. At 28, her husband was killed in a car accident. At 31, she remarried, to a man who did not have children. He loved her kids, and had legally adopted them, but they desperately wanted one of their own.



She had a reversal. Couldn't get pregnant...3 rounds of IVF, and she was lucky enough to finally get pregnant (with twins) at age 37. Did she regret having her tubes tied at 25? Yup!



Another is a nurse I worked with. She had 5 boys by the time she was 28 (the youngest were spontaneous twins). No one questioned her choice to have her tubes tied after the twins were born. Her first husband was an irresponsible ass, who she finally left when the twins were 2. She remarried, and the second husband had no children of his won, but wanted one. She too had a reversal, and was unable to get pregnant. Unfortunately, both she and the hubby worked for (different) Catholic employers, neither of whom covered IVF, and they did not have the funds to do more than one unsuccessful cycle on their own.



I don't think that a blanket refusal based solely on age is appropriate, but yes, I absolutely think counseling and a waiting period are reasonable. There are many stories of women who have had children young, and know without doubt that they would not, in a million years, want to bear another child...and then life happens.



Perhaps it is the wisdom of age, but what I thought my future would hold at 28 is not even remotely close to what my reality is at age 40. Things that you are sure are absolutes can and will crumble right out from under you.



So yes, I absolutely think that a responsible, ethical and caring physician would require a younger patient to do some "hoop jumping" before having a tubal.

Sarah - posted on 01/04/2011

5,465

31

344

I feel really sorry for doctors sometimes, it's like they can't do right for doing wrong.



If they were to let an 18yr old girl have their tubes tied without much "hoop jumping" then I bet they would be slammed for not pointing out that the girl may feel differently at some point, or that there are some nasty complications sometimes, or that perhaps there are other avenues they could explore that aren't permanent.



I think that deciding to get your tubes tied is a HUGE decision, and to be honest, I think it's right that they don't just offer to do it without time for research, or soul searching.

Sarah - posted on 01/04/2011

5,465

31

344

I guess abortions are easier to get because of the time issue. You can't give a woman months of counselling to see if she really wants an abortion, because there's a cut off date.

I think it's good that you have to "jump through some hoops" to get your tubes tied (although perhaps they could make slightly less hoops!) I was convinced after my eldest that I didn't want any more kids. My GP even asked me if I'd considered getting my tubes tied, and I (at 21) said I thought I was too young to make that decision. If I'd said yes then, I would have bitterly regretted it later on.

While I think that it shouldn't necessarily be something a woman can just get straight away, I DO think that ultimately it's up to them.

A friend of mine was going to have it done, it was all booked, but then she researched the possible side effects and complications, and changed her mind.
I think you have to arm yourself with all the knowledge you can about it before jumping into having surgery.

[deleted account]

Oh, and yes and abortion is easier to get than a tubal. You go in and schedule it and you usually get an appontment a week or two later (two at the most) and it's done. No questions, no "are you sure" counseling crap, nothing. It's ridiculous - I would think the insurance would be more willing to steralize someone than pay for multiple abortions! Ugh...



As for the tonsils... Ugh... I got mine out in November. This was AFTER 6 months of going to the doc with the issue (I almost got gangreen in my tonsils because they were so infected and the antibiotic was never strong enough) AND I had to call the insurance company and say "Hey, tell you what. Either you pay to have these things removed, or I'll KEEP going to the doctor and I'll KEEP going to the most expensive pharmacy in town for my antibiotics that DON'T WORK. Then, if I DIE from this infection my husband will SUE your ass off for not authorizing the surgery!" Oddly enough, my request was finally approved and I was given an appointment with the ENT a week later... Oh, and they gave me the best ENT in town too :D

Stifler's - posted on 01/03/2011

15,141

154

604

Doctors are just protecting themselves in this sue happy age I guess.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

39 Comments

View replies by

Desiree - posted on 01/06/2011

910

17

13

Is it not funny that Medical aids will pay for us to have 60 kids before it will pay for us to be responsible and take contriseptives. My husband and I have discussed him having a vasectomy but we cant afford it, you can't get it for free from a clinic and medical aids wont pay for it. I have been on the injection for 10 years which I paid for every single time I received it. Now I am off it, it has caused complications and my period has stopped altogether and messed up my ovaries.And here we complain all the time about over population!!

Heather - posted on 01/05/2011

8

25

0

Like Jenny "the Commie Canadian", i also had no problems...got mine done after having my 2nd c-section at 27. My childeren are almost 9 years apart and my husband and I have been together 10 years and married 2 of those years. We wanted to be done regardless of the WHAT IF's. I had a planned c-section so I said I would do it while I was already in the OR. My doctor gave me no problems about doing it, and I didn't want to take any kind of hormonal birth control or use condoms...and I must say we do enjoy the worry free sex!

Nicole - posted on 01/04/2011

1,117

27

48

I was asked during my third pregnancy when I would be getting my tubal and I was actually offended. LOL Apparently, they thought I had too many kids or that I am too stupid to not get pregnant. =S I just said "no, my husband is having a vasectomy" and ended the conversation. Well, my husband didn't make his surgery due to a family emergency and I wound up pregnant with baby number 4 and he was unplanned. Hahahahaha! Apparently, I was too stupid to not get pregnant again. lol

Anyway, he just recently had a vasectomy and they never even asked him if he was sure that was what he wanted. He just scheduled the procedure and they did it. No ifs, ands, or buts. Hmmm.... Maybe there is a bias???? Of course, they could have just read his paperwork and saw that he has 4 kids and thought "thank goodness this man's getting snipped and let's not give him any reason to second guess his decision!" ha ha

Nikkole - posted on 01/04/2011

1,505

31

49

My doctor asked me if i wanted to get my tubes tied after my 2nd and im 22 but i said no for SOME reason lol and not long after my husband had a vasectomy done and he is 25 i will eventually have my tubes tied because i want 100% that we wont have anymore if we want more we will adopt later on!

[deleted account]

Most of the women I know who have had a tubal still got pregnant again anyway within 10 years. I've considered birth control as a back up.

Ez - posted on 01/04/2011

6,569

25

237

I think counselling and a waiting period should be mandatory, regardless of age.

Stifler's - posted on 01/04/2011

15,141

154

604

I think people have sued before and that's why it's so hard to get it. Even at 27 people can say " I don't want kids ew kids I hate kids" then by 35 all their friends are having kids, buying houses, driving Taragos and they are like WHY DIDN'T MY DOCTOR TELL ME I WOULD FEEL THIS WAY. Not saying it would happen to everyone but some might change their mind and find someone to blame.

Ez - posted on 01/04/2011

6,569

25

237

It's rare for either tubals or vasectomies to be done on patients under 30 in Australia. I know several people, male and female, who have tried and been turned away because of the age factor. I think it's nuts. If the person is over 18 and legally an adult, they should be entirely responsible for decisions regarding their bodies and health. I don't know about the counselling though. I'm pretty sure once the doctor deems them old and wise enough *eye roll* to make the decision they go ahead and schedule it.

Trish - posted on 01/03/2011

14

0

0

I had no problems. Maybe it is due to my age. I was 38 when I had my son. Or the multiple miscarriages previous. Both my doctors asked me repeatedly if I wanted my tubes tied at the time of the birth. I said no. There was no mention of counseling or anything.

Same thing happened with my second child. I totally said yes that time. I was 41 when I had my daughter. Again, even though I had doctors in two different states (different than the state I was in with my son even), no mention of counseling or anything. Got it done but still get asked repeatedly if I need birth control (before they find out I'm tied).

So three states and seven doctors I never had any of the issues you've described. Now I did have an abortion when I was 19. I had to drive eight hours one way to get to the clinic. I had trouble scraping up the money for it. I had to borrow from my mom (I was a college student). The guy was NO help. Just told me to, and I quote, "Break a leg." The clinic required counseling before hand (they had a woman next to me during the procedure who was just there to hold my hand) and that I get on birth control immediately after wards. They provided six months of free birth control actually.

Now an old friend of mine got tied the minute she turned 30. I never heard if she was required to have counseling. She never had or wanted kids (she's catholic and her priest almost didn't marry her because of that; she had to lie). She only told me they had an age deadline.

Lacye - posted on 01/03/2011

2,011

31

164

The midwife I went to asked me if I wanted my tubes tied. Just when I was going to say yes, she said "oh never mind! This is your first pregnancy!" Wrong! It was my second, but I miscarried the first time. Because I was 24 at the time, had only the one full term pregnancy, and was not married (but in a committed relationship) she would not even give me the choice. I'll be honest, I didn't want children. I'm thankful for my daughter and I love her to death and wouldn't trade her for anything in the world, but I just didn't want children. Unfortunately I was on the pill and was sick and had to take antibiotics (just my luck! lol). It really made me angry though because they wouldn't give me the choice what to do with my own body.

[deleted account]

I'm 24 and I want a tubal. I have 3 kids and I am DONE. I realy do not want to do the baby stuff again. I was first told (at Planned Parenthood) that I could get it done like that ::snaps fngers:: when I turn 25, but NOW, my insurance has decided that, even though I am already signed up for my counseling and everything through PP, I have to go to my DOCTOR to get a referral to a counselor, who will then give me a referral to the doc who actually performs the procedure AND I can't even get my doc to refer me to the counselor until I'm 25! UGH!! Guess who's going to their doctor's office on their birthday? :P

LaCi - posted on 01/03/2011

3,361

3

171

I don't think you should have to jump through hoops. My doctor said no, he said I was too young (24) to decide. I asked him on 3 separate occasions, he tried to talk me into IUD's rather than a tubal, I insisted and he scheduled to surgery (age 24 still, I think). There really wasn't any hoop jumping, I think it was more that he wanted to give me time to mull over it, to make sure it wasn't a hasty decision. And after a few months without changing my mind he gave in.

Anyway, I cancelled the surgery because he only did surgery on a certain day and it happened to fall smack dab in the middle of finals. I planned on rescheduling, never got around to it. He probably thinks I changed my mind or something, which I didn't.

If I had a doc who vehemently refused based on age or lack of rabbit like breeding, I'd switch docs until I found one more suited to my needs.

Laura - posted on 01/03/2011

698

59

56

For me personally I don't think I would ever get one. I'm done after the third is born but I just don't like the option being taken away from me. My husband can get snipped if it's that big of a deal to him, but he won't cuz he's to chicken shit to go get it done.

Rosie - posted on 01/03/2011

8,657

30

321

jaime, men can't get one either. i know of 2 that wanted to get vasectomies that couldn't. one was early 20 something and had 5 kids already. he didn't want anymore (one would think condoms would help, but i digress) and wanted a vasectomy. big fat no!!
my best friends hubby wanted one at an older age, later 20's. they said no cause he didn't have any children. well he obviously wanted to keep it that way. he waited for a couple more years and an unwanted pregnancy later, they said yes.

Rosie - posted on 01/03/2011

8,657

30

321

i've never understood why on earth these rules exist. i mean really CAN someone sue their doctor for a choice they made, and then asked the doctor to do? that's like me having moles removed and then suing the doctor afterwards cause i decided i liked them afterall! it's a fucking ridiculous practice that only leads to more unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2011

4,426

16

129

Jess, we have UHC too. My procedure was done during a Csection and took an extra 2 minutes so wasn't tying up public resources. Operating rooms are scheduled so even if one person wasn't getting a tubal it doesn't neccessarily free up resources for someone's organ transplant.

3 years for a tonsils out!? I had mine out at 14 and it took less than 2 months from the authorisation to the operation.

Jess - posted on 01/03/2011

1,806

3

97

I have this weird contempt against tubal ligation, Here in Australia its performed in public hospitals and as an elective procedure. I just think its a waist of an operating theatre and surgeon's time when more important procedures are waiting. 3 years for a sick child to have their tonsils removed !!! Bet that waiting list could be reduced if tubal ligation was a private procedure done only in private hospitals ! * See told you I didn't like them*.

So I guess my opinion would be, you can get the procedure done when you can afford to and therefore leaving you plenty of time to consider your decision.

Iris - posted on 01/03/2011

1,993

29

51

I never had to do it. We had heard that vasectomy was much easier so my hubby had it done. But yes, we fully knew what our decision was, we talked about it during my second pregnancy. Two was good for us.



Edit: I do agree with Emma. It probably has to do with covering their asses.

[deleted account]

Funny story: someone I know knew from early childhood she never wanted kids her first visit to the GYN she asked to have her tubes tied, they said no you're too young to know what you want. She got pregnant at 14 and gave the baby up for adoption and asked again for the procedure, they said no too young you might want kids later in life. Got pregnant again late teens kept that baby and asked again, they said no too young you might want more later, got pregnant again in her 20s asked again, they said no too young you might still want more, got engaged to her man who had 3 of his own, asked again they said no you two might want to have one together, they did and then he passed away and she was left with 3 kids in her care, 3 kids to be a stepmother to, and her adopted out child tracked her down, so instead of asking she basically informed them that if they didn't do it she'd do the procedure to herself, they agreed and she now has her tubes tied. She married the man shes with now who has 2 of his own. She loves all 9 of her children and all of her many grandkids and though she would never give them up she still maintains she would have rather not had kids and knew all her life that motherhood just wasn't for her. She did what she had to do to be a good mother but still it should have been her choice! Effin doctors that's all I can say. They complain about abortion rates and the numbers of children in fostercare waiting to be adopted yet they wont listen when a woman knows she doesn't want to be a mother. You don't know what is good for you until you get pregnant but then all of a sudden they're all pro-choice and women's rights. It's just flat out hypocrisy, idiots.

Becky - posted on 01/03/2011

2,892

44

93

I won't be getting a tubal because Jeff is the one who wants to be done after 3, not me. I want 4. I'm okay only having 3, but since he's the one who's done, he's the one who can have the surgery!
If I had to have c-sections, I might feel differently, but I'm not having surgery when I'd be okay with having more kids.
I still don't feel it should be that difficult for other women who actually want it to get though. I guess one reason I could see for requiring counselling would be to ensure the woman wanted it and wasn't being pressured into it.

Charlie - posted on 01/02/2011

11,203

111

409

I have always known I wanted two boys and THAT IS IT so I do want to get my tubes tied however since there are two people in our relationship to consider I have given Jamie the option of one more but he only has until I am thirty to decide .

I absolutely think people should make their own informed decisions and a quick questionaire should be filled but there shouldn't be so many hoops to jump IMO .

[deleted account]

I guess that's the thing, since men can get vasectomies why should women get tubal ligation? i dunno, seems a tad bit sexist to me. if a man can do it, a woman ought to be able to.

[deleted account]

I got my tubes tied about 8 months ago right after I had my youngest. I'm 27 have 4 kids and only had to sign a paper 30 days before, the doc just asked me if I was sure.

The only time I think a woman should have to do any counseling before is if she has no children. I know a few who have tried to get a tubal before even having kids and doctors refused. Now years later they have kids and couldn't be happier.

Becky - posted on 01/02/2011

2,892

44

93

Wow, that's nuts! Of course women should be fully informed, but ultimately, it's the woman's choice.
Is it really true they won't do a tubal on a woman who doesn't have at least 2 children? What if she has some sort of medical condition that makes pregnancy dangerous or a genetic condition she doesn't want to risk passing on? She shouldn't be forced to risk getting pregnant and then have to make the choice of what to do with the baby!
Do they make men jump through all these hoops to have a vasectomy?

Lindsay - posted on 01/02/2011

3,532

26

267

I had a tubal at 23 and 3 years after my 2nd and last child was born. I had told her (my obgyn) at my 6 week post partum check up that I wished I would have gone ahead with the tubal after birth. We opted for the IUD because I wasn't 100%. Three years later, when i was still singing the same song, I came out and told her I was ready to go through with it. I wasn't given any hassel but again, she knew I'd been thinking about it for that long. We filled out some paper work and I had it done the following week in out-patient surgery. Now when I went in for my yearly PAP this year, she did ask me if I was ready for another. When I reminded her that we took care of that, she replied, "Oh I know, but you were so young, I didn't do anything that can't be undone." So obviously, I didn't have an experience near what was mentioned in the OP. Yes, women need to be sure before entering such a procedure but they also need to be able to make that decision for themself.

Sharon - posted on 01/02/2011

11,585

12

1315

Pfftt.. let 'em do it.
If they're so stupid they hadn't considered all the ramifications then do we really want them procreating?

If someone makes a mistake - some tubals can be reversed.... so why the big deal?

Mrs. - posted on 01/02/2011

1,767

6

30

My MIL had to go through some sort of panel when she was done having kids (after three). Kind of crazy. If people are allowed without some sort of panel to have IVF or any of those procedures, why wouldn't the opposite be automatically patient's choice?

Personally, I'd never have a tubal, I've had a lot of surgeries on my uterus for endo probs and I wouldn't go through with it if my fiance could just go get a simple snip. Too much for my body to deal with. I'm holding out for the possibility of one more before I turn 37...then if that doesn't happen he's gonna get those baby ball tubes cut. After all I did, it's the least her can do...cause I'm not having a baby when I'm 40!

Nicole - posted on 01/02/2011

736

6

98

They seriously ask, "what if one of your children died?" How morbid! Oh no, then you wouldn't be able to replace them? wtf!

No child is replaceable. If you lost a child, it would be tragic and there is no reason for your counsellor to be asking that IMO.

[deleted account]

That's insane. Do they put you through this much when you ask about Essure? Or getting a hysterectomy? Ugh.

Jenny - posted on 01/02/2011

4,426

16

129

I had a tubal at 28 combined with my 2nd child during his Csection. I was in and out with my OB-GYN in 10 minutes. She asked me a couple of questions and we moved on. I didn't sign anything and felt no pressure. I told her if I desired a third child I would adopt in any scenario. My doctor was also accepting of my decision right away.

[deleted account]

I'm too chicken shit to get a tubal, and haven;t even been to my OB since April 2005. Hubby is too chicken shit to get a snipping too, so we're both screwed! But, I think in the grand scheme of things, doctors are trying to do everything they can to avoid a malpractice lawsuit. Jumping through hurdles is one tactic to protect their own butts.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2011

2,694

52

175

You know, I was so nervous to bring up a tubal ligation with my doctor because of all the horror stories I've heard and I have to admit, it really wasn't like that for me. I'm 25, I'm pregnant with numbers 2 and 3 and I signed the paperwork the same visit. My OB asked me if I was sure, told me that it would be easier, safer and more effective for my husband to get a vasectomy (which he is, we're both being sterilized) that it's considered irreversible, what happens if I divorce or my husband dies or one of my children die etc etc. I was glad she asked all of those questions, they were all things I had already considered but I was glad she wasn't going to just be like "OK then, let's snip 'em now!" without warning me of anything. The only "hoop" I had to go through, was to sign a waver 30 days before the operation could be performed (hasn't yet, will be once my girls are born.).

Long story short, no, I don't think they have a right to force women to jump through so many hoops, I though the discussion my doctor and I had was sufficient.

Bonnie - posted on 01/02/2011

4,813

22

262

It's definitely a women's right to when she wants to have it done or if she wants to have it done. You know, it's funny how after you have a baby the doctor is all over you about when you are thinking about going back on birth control because "you don't want to become pregnant again right now" almost as if it is a crime. But, as soon as a young woman says I want my tubes tied, it is almost frowned upon.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms