Why Is Tubal Ligation Harder to Get Than an Abortion?


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?

Image via massdistraction/Flickr

emotions, motherhood, tests & procedures


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leomo... leomommy1325

A woman should be able to choose to have a tubal regardless of age and shouldn't have to jump through all kinds of hoops.  I don't think that 27 is too young to have a tubal and your doctor shouldn't have been rude to you.  That is very unprofessional and uncalled for.  I know a woman that was 25 when she decided to have a tubal after a C-section.

Pishyah Pishyah

I completely agree with you.  The crap that they put women through to have something done to their own bodies is just ridiculous.  Absolutely and completely ridiculous.  I mean, condoms fail, birth control is dangerous and fails, diaphrams...  Who even has one now?  I've never even seen one much less know how to use it.  Abstinence!  That's the answer!  Wait...  I'm married and we ALL KNOW that to keep both parties HAPPIER and to feel AS CONNECTED AS POSSIBLE (because the act gets the oxytocin flowing) then a married couple should engage in sexual intercourse and the other forms of sex that they find fun.  LOL!  I mean, we all know a marriage can exist without sex and that doesn't mean people are cheating or leaving but DAMN if my marriage isn't BETTER when I'm GETTING LAID.  Everything's better then.  So, no, I won't give up my rolls in the sack when there are better options out there for me to avoid a child than "pull and prey" and the other known-to-fail-a-lot options.

zades... zadesmom1998

I am so glad I that I didn't have to jump thru hoops. My insurance made me wait a month before scheduling to make sure I wasn't rushing. Done and done. Don't regret it at all.

mtnma... mtnmama111

that's ridiculous

Tracy Zavaleta

This one of the things I've always felt passionate about. A woman has every right to make choices about her reproductive rights. If a woman is informed of all the concerns around tubal ligation at a young age, she should legally be allowed to make the decision whether or not she wants children/more children. What about a woman who chooses not to have children for health concerns? I hate the arguments for birth control and abstinence for women who don't want to have children. Yes, birth control is an option, but seriously do you believe a married woman who isn't ready for a child is going to abstain from sex with her husband? While we're at it, restricting a woman's right to make biological and reproductive choices, let's go ahead and limit everyone to having only three children. Does the three child limit sound ridiculous? Exactly.

The limits of reproductive freedom need to be focused on and changed.

rocks... rockstarmom2b

Wow! This is insane. I really adore my reproductive powers and don't think I could ever sterilise myself, but I TOTALLY understand a WOMANS CHOICE to have a tubal if she WANTS IT DONE! How silly.

Saras... Sarasahmof3

I had no problems getting my tubes tied. I had my first and was pregnant with twins.  They did not bat an eyelash when I said I wanted it. No counseling nothing.  Just sign here and asking me if I was really sure. That was it. I was 30.

Charlotte M Spurrill-Kayser

That is rediculous.  It's as if the medical establishment or whoever is making these rules thinks women simply aren't intellegent enough to think for themselves.  Personally, I have 2 children and I do want to have another sometime, but I also believe that I am capable of decideing that for myself as well.  Drs shouldn't have the right to tell a woman what to do with her own body simply because they have some idea that they know better than she does weather she'll want to have a(nother) baby someday.

Noeyhead Noeyhead

I wish that they could come up with something besides their joke of a counseling session. I also don't understand why they make it harder for some women and easier for others. If someone had really made me think about it, I would have never gotten my tubes tied. Now I am jumping through the hopes to get it undone. Regardless of if you want one or not, whether or not your religion thinks it's a sin or not, it is something that must be seriously thought about. Not a day goes by that I do not regret my choice, and wish I hadn't had so much outside influence on what I should do with my reproductive organs.

nonmember avatar Melissa

I had a tubal at 24 due to health problems and complications during my pregnancies. I didn't think anything of it until every new Dr. I see is totally shocked I had one at that age. A friend of my husbands was asked to have his wife sign an a paper agreeing to him having a vasectomy. I thought that was ridiculous.

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