Voluntary Sterilization: When Women Ask For It, Why Won't Doctors Listen?


The NotMom is really popular in Canada, and that's a good thing, because it means that NotMoms in countries other than the United States identify with the reactions and emotions of women without children far from where they live.

Headlines in August 2017 about a Canadian study of women under 30 seeking sterilization connected with many By Choice NotMoms around the world.

Let's begin this report with the news that guidelines are very clear for Canadian professionals. Dustin Costescu, MD, a family planning specialist and assistant professor at McMaster University wrote a study with Dr. Dylan Ehmanand in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada:

In a well-informed, mentally competent woman who understands her birth control options and the “permanency of the procedure,” sterilization should be offered regardless of age or parity, meaning whether or not she’s given birth,

That said, the same doctors also reported that “many women who desire sterilization at a young age experience barriers from physicians who decline to facilitate the request,”

After reviewing the medical records of just 29 women under 30 years of age who had, or on a wait list for, sterilization at their clinic, the doctors found that most said when they first sought sterilization, doctors either refused to perform the procedure or refused to refer the women to a willing physician..

Surprised? Dr. Costescu learn that some women had been counseled to get a psychiatric evaluation, with the thinking that they were “pathological” to opt out of motherhood,

Yeah. Crazy.

Many women in the study told Dr. Costescu that other doctors had advised them to wait until they were 30. Because, of course, women don't know their own minds. But Dr. Costescu noted that today's median age of first childbirth is close to 30, making that argument "less meaningful — half are still childless at this age.”

When it comes to voluntary sterilization, people generally predict that regret will lead women to wish they'd never taken such a permanent action. But, a 1999 US study reported that of 11,000 women women who underwent permanent sterilization in the 1970s and 1980s, after 14 years, the cumulative risk of regret was 20% among those who were 30 or younger when they were sterilized, and 6%t for women over age 30 at sterilization.

It's 2017, for God's sake. Can't men, physicians, and everyone else (including women) accept that women know what they want for their lives?

Responses from American women to the the Canadian research results showed that Canada ain't the only place where doctors don't believe women know what they want. Do we need more female doctors? More doctors without kids?

This list on Reddit is regularly updated with the names of doctors who listen to women.

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