10 Tips For Getting Fixed
Getting sterilized isn’t easy, especially if you’re young and/or have no children. But it can be done, if you’re persistent. I got my tubal ligation at the age of 22, and with no kids.
- Be sure sterilization is what you want.If you’re anything less than 100% certain, don’t bother. For one thing, if you’re not totally convinced that sterilization is right for you, then you aren’t likely to be successful in convincing anybody else of this. Everything about you from your words to your body language needs to communicate with absolute confidence that you are done birthing kids or never want any at all.Another reason this certainty is important is because you do not want to be in that small (I stress, very small) minority who actually do regret their sterilization. Not only is that bad for you, personally, but your unrepresentative situation will be used against other men and women seeking the same procedure.
- Research your options.There are many sterilization options (for women/for men,) and it’s important to figure out which one will be best for you. It’s important too to know as much as possible about the procedure you choose, both from a medical perspective and from the perspective of the patient. You need to know what to expect, for your own comfort and peace of mind. It’s also helpful to be able to communicate clearly with your doctor, making sure your both speaking the same language, when it comes to your request for a certain procedure, and also to demonstrate to your doctor that you are knowledgeable about the procedure and understand exactly what you’re asking for.Don’t be suckered in by anti-sterilization scare-tactics. There are a number of unhelpful myths about sterilization procedures, and they’re easily debunked by honest and earnest research and understanding of the procedure. Don’t let medical myths perpetuated by the regretful minority dissuade you.
- Be prepared to stand up for what you want.You should never have to justify your actions, but a doctor will ask anyway. Be ready to give reasons, good ones, for your decision to be sterilized at that time. You should be able to go on and on all day about all the reasons you want to be sterilized, however small and ultimately inconsequential some of those reasons may actually be to you. If it helps, prepare a list.It’s also important to familiarize yourself with popular bingos, and be prepared to counter them. You do this not only to dominate the conversation, but also to demonstrate that you’ve given the matter a lot of though and are completely serious about it.
- Research doctors and hospitals/clinics.
Who even does sterilization procedures? You’ll be wasting your time if the doctor or hospital you go to doesn’t provide sterilization at all, or the particular procedure that you want.It’s also important to check reviews for doctors and hospitals/clinics, just as you would for any other medical care that you seek. You want to know that you’re in the hands of medical professionals that you can trust with your health.
- Know how you’ll be paying for the procedure.Cost varies by type, as well as other factors. How will you afford sterilization? Does your insurance cover it? Does the government? Can a non-profit organization assist you? Can you afford to pay out-of-pocket? If not, you may have to find a way to get insurance that covers the procedure, and/or set up a savings fund. You might even get creative, organizing a fund-raiser or accepting donations from charitable and supportive friends (think of the opposite of a baby-shower.)NOTE: Someone on FaceBook said that this list works well for civilians, but not necessarily military. That’s when I pointed out that I was active duty US Army at the time that I got my tubal. Yes, it’s more difficult for military, but it can be done. And, as it just so happens, TriCare pays for 100% of it.
- If you have one and he/she is supportive, bring your partner to the consultation.It will help you to have support, someone in your corner to lend encouragement and assistance. Additionally, bringing your partner will keep a hesitant doctor from bingos appealing to your partner’s hypothetical intentions (“What if you meet the right man/woman?”) Your doctor may be more convinced if you can demonstrate that you and your partner on the same page, not that you ever need anyone else’s permission to seek whatever medical care you want for yourself. Best off, now there are two people arguing for the procedure, and the doctor is out-numbered.
- Be polite.It’s easy to get angry and defensive if a doctor refuses to cooperate, this refusal often involving unintentional rudeness and condescension as well as sexism and ageism. But yelling at the doctor won’t get you anywhere, except ejected from the building. Be firm, but not hostile. You may still be able to convince this doctor yet. If not, you may be able to at least get a referral to another doctor who might be more helpful.
- Don’t back down.Don’t let a doctor, or anybody else, talk you out of sterilization, or convince you to delay your pursuit until you’ve met some arbitrary requirement like age or marriage or number of children. Don’t let a doctor talk you into other forms of birth control instead (I did take a deal to use an IUD for 6 months before my doctor would agree to give me a tubal, but that was a bargain to get a tubal, not something I accepted instead of a tubal.) You decided on sterilization, and you mean to get one. It’s your body, don’t let anyone tell you want you can and can’t do with it. It’s your mind. Don’t let anyone else make it for you.If your doctor refuses to help, don’t wait for him/her to come around. Find someone else.
- Remember that you’rethe boss.You aren’t seeing doctors to ask permission to be sterilized. You’ve already decided to be sterilized, a decision which is exclusively your own decision to make. You’re simply looking for doctors to hire for the job. With that attitude, no doctor can deny you sterilization, but simply refuse to take the job. It’s the doctor’s loss then. Take your business elsewhere.Keep the trail warm. Every time you’re told “no,” by a doctor, try to at least get a referral. Don’t be discouraged. For every time you’re turned down, you build a history of pursuit. It’s hard for new doctors you see to deny your certainty when they see appointment after appointment with previous doctors in quest for sterilization. Giving up certainly won’t help, as doctors won’t just come to you.
- Whenyou do eventually find the right doctor, celebrate!Revel in your impending infertility and all the benefits it will bring you. And rejoice that all the time and effort you spent on your hunt, all the arguments and aggravation, has finally paid off for you. And don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Don’t rain on it yourself with nervous worry. Everything will be fine.Have a plan for when the day comes. If you’ve researched the procedure, you know how it will affect you. You may miss work for a few days, or you may just have to sit on some ice for a day. Make sure that you’ve made arrangements for a ride home, if you’ll need one, as well as someone to help you out for a day or two, if needed. It might also be a good idea to have easy food and entertainment prepared at home if you need to spend a few low-key days recovering.
Posted on 2012/04/30, in childfree, Countdown To Tubal, Feminism, Humanism, Prochoice, Sexism and tagged ch, childfree, countdown to tubal, feminism, feminist, free thinker, free thinking, kids, pro-choice, prochoice, sterilization, tubal, tubal ligation. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.