Non-parents being sterilized

I will soon be 29 and I want more than ever to be sterilized. I don't want any children at all and neither does my partner. We have been together for about 14 years and aren't married because we don't believe in it. He thinks the surgery is a bit unnecessary as he doesn't like the potential risks like infection and what not. He won’t get a vasectomy but to be honest I’d rather have the surgery in case we ever did part.

I’ve been on the implant for basically all the years we have been together and it has done the job and I rarely get a period these days but my sex drive is affected big time. I can probably count the number of times I was fully aroused on one hand, haha. Even when I masturbate, I’m not fully into it and just want that sweet end. I’ll still enjoy it but where’s the “fire”? I know I’m still young but I feel like my sexual youth has been stolen from me and I don’t want to waste anymore years on it. I just want to be free.

After I turn 29 next month, I’m planning to talk to my GP about sterilization. Why didn’t I ask sooner? I guess because age is a factor for them and they can be picky. But I have heard some people who got it done way younger than I am.

So I have a little list of questions for those that have been sterilized (preferably non-parents) but any information/advice on the matter is welcomed.

1. How old were you when you got it done?

2. Was the doctor/nurse reasonable or did you have to fight for it and if so how did you convince them?

3. Did you get it done on NHS or did you have to go private?

4. Did it make you happier? (or affect your sex drive, mood, etc.)

5. How long did it take from the meeting and agreement with your doctor/nurse until the actual procedure? Weeks? Months?

6. How many times were you unsuccessful and were turned away before someone gave the ok? What reason did they have for turning you away?

Thank you!

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I have no information regarding sterilisation but I do about the implant. I was on the implant for around 9 years (the gap between my two children) and it was awful! My sex drive was through the floor and I piled on weight and was just generally not ‘me’. After our last baby I decided not to go back on contraception and have been using condoms ever since. My sex drive is through the roof and hubby is considering a vasectomy. I would say that usually the nhs age is 30 so don’t be alarmed if they say no. They will also suggest counselling as you are childless and sterilisation is deemed irreversible. But hold your ground if this is truly what you want

I'd be interested in hearing your experience at your GP because I asked for sterilization at ages 19, 26, 30 and 35. I got a no every time because they thought I may change my mind.

I saw something not so long ago on the TV about a young lady who wanted to get steralised but had been refused. If I remember right they won't consider it until your at least into your thirties.

On one hand I can understand this 'rule' because people's lives can change so dramatically and sterilisation is technically irreversible.

Take myself for example I had my first child 13 years ago, I genuinely thought we were done with kids and we had no desire whatsoever to have any more. Everytime anybody mentioned it my answer was a flat NO and this was my opinion for almost 10 years! Then all of a sudden something just clicked and we decided we wanted another, we now have a four month old!

On the other hand I understand how frustrating it must be for you to not feel heard and to have to deal with contraception that is causing horrible side effects and would be unnecessary if you were able to get what you want!

If they do turn you down I would recommend you get a coil fitted, it is sometimes referred to as reversible sterilisation. I had two consecutively for 9 years and never had a problem. My periods stopped, I didn't gain any weight (not due to that anyway), my sex drive was in no way affected, I had no side effects at all, I couldn't even tell it was there!

Good luck to you, I hope you can find a solution!

@ Delightful87 - I heard a joke that the main reason the implant is so effective is because you won't even want sex anymore, lol. I haven't noticed it affecting my weight or stuff like that but it's hard to tell what it has affected because I've been on it so long but the sex drive one is hard to ignore.

I find it a little insulting that they would refer me for counselling because I don't want kids but I suppose that's the environment we live in, sadly. How come people who want them don't get this treatment as having them affects your life WAY more than anything else? How come they don't have to wait until they're the magic age of 30? Haha.

Yes, I do intend to hold my ground. The older I get, the more I want it and I would have happily had this done in my teens with no regrets.

Thanks for your input.

@Hanin - I'm sure that was very frustrating for you being turned down so many times and at vastly different ages. And did you ever change your mind?

I don't like that excuse. From the research I've done, only a small minority of people regret getting the procedure. Shouldn't doctors go by the majority and not the minority? Just a thought. Also (I know it's taboo but it needs to be said) there are people that regret having children.

It looks like more and more people are choosing not to have kids so maybe the environment will change and people will be more open to the procedure and take people who want it more seriously.

Good luck.

I hate the way some med professionals speak to patients like they are children!

EVERY woman I've known who has said from a very young age that they don't want children has battled with the same attitude and suffered as a result with unwanted pregnancies with multiple terminations - and the mental health trauma that comes with them. Not to mention the problems that come with hormonal contraceptives.

I'm in my fifties and four of my old school friends have gone through their lives like this. They were adamant in school they weren't going to have children and didn't. One provided a report she'd paid a consultant psychologist to write to her GP and was still refused until she was still single at 37 - the GP wrote on her notes that she would be a burden and drain on resources if she continued using hormonal contraceptives at cost of the NHS! He then deemed her to be suitable for sterilisation as she no longer had hope of being settled in a monogamous relationship and able to bring up children (this was about 15 years ago, but it looks like attitudes haven't changed).

Oddly enough, women I've met since then and have gone private haven't had these problems. Seems like they disappear if you're willing to hand over cash to the same people who would be doing the procedure on the NHS.

I've also met women who have suffered mental health issues after having to use hormonal contraceptives for many years as they've not wanted kids. That includes the coil, which is brilliant for some women, but truly awful for those sensitive to the hormone in it, however minute it may be. Nothing kills a relationship like a bad reaction to some hormones (even if you're not using them for contraception -I'm one of those and have suffered since puberty with mental health and sex drive issues that have caused relationship problems. Thank goodness for Agnus Castus in my case).

Last I read around 25% of UK women today choose to be childless. I'm not one of those women as I'd have dearly loved to have a child, but have never been able to carry to term. When a conversation about children starts I'm assumed to have not wanted any and have actually been treated quite hostilely by quite a few women with children until they find out my circumstances (then I get a lot of pitying "poor you").

I know that some women will change their minds later down the line, but those who have adamantly stated from a fairly young age that they do not want children should be listened to and respected as much as those women who do. It should be a matter of choice and a right as much as abortion (which, as I said, is often a consequence for those ignored women).

Sorry this has been a rant, but I'm firmly in your corner, ladies. If your partners can accept your decisions - or if you don't have a long-term partner - your GP should, too. Not that any of your decisions should be made by your partners, but in some circumstances, it may help if you turn up to the GP together.

Squeaky wheel gets oiled - do NOT give up! Good luck.

@Cinderella69 - I've seen a few things were young people have been sterilized and it just makes me jealous, haha. I've noticed doctors seem to have no problem with doing it for sex workers with basically no questions asked. Hmmm...

I'm not a maternal person at all and I have always been like this. I used to be a teacher and have worked with children which was fun but it never "awakened" any motherly instincts or anything like that. I know I'm going to sound bad, but the thought of anything with babies, pregnancy and the like repulses and disgusts me. Some people just aren't meant to be parents and I'm one of them.

I don't want the coil. I've heard horror stories with that thing (makes your periods last longer, you can feel it moving, he can feel it, ect). I just feel like all these long time contraceptives are just pushing back the inevitable of me never having kids.The implant would have been perfect for me if it didn't suck away my desire, haha. I just don't want to be on all these mad contraceptives for the rest of my life until I naturally can't get pregnant and then look back and realise my sexual years are long gone and I wasted them because some doctor thought I would "change my mind". (which I can see right now, already)

Thanks for your input. I hope I can sort something out.

I understand completely how frustrating it is for medical professionals to ignore how you feel about your own body because 'they know best', it wasn't in the same circumstances as you obviously but it doesn't feel nice!

I didn't mean to suggest that you would be one of the people who does change their mind. I just meant that I think this is how the Doctors view it, so don't want to rush you having the procedure to then want a reversal procedure later down the line (all that probably mostly comes down to cost unfortunately).

I didn't realise that sex workers could be sterilised so easily. The only reason I could think of (purely based on a few documentaries have watched on prostitution) is that majority of them have a drug addiction and also don't have secure/permanent residents. I heard a lot of the time babies of drug addict mothers are often taken at birth and put into foster care. I don't actually know I'm just assuming.

As for the coil, I only suggested that if they were to still refuse you. In my experience it was as if I wasn't on any contraception, so it worked well. I thought it might of been some kind of compromise, not that you should have to compromise of course!! Unfortunately they hold all the power!

How would it work if you were to go private? Do you still have such a fight that way?

Sorry if I made you feel like I was siding with the Doctors, I wasn't, and completely agree that it's your body, your choice!

нинаnin wrote:

I'd be interested in hearing your experience at your GP because I asked for sterilization at ages 19, 26, 30 and 35. I got a no every time because they thought I may change my mind.

Never understand why the medical profession (not all) and lots of other people can't get their heads round that not everybody wants kids, we don't have them and have had people question our decision

@ VR Wow, I love how passionate you are. Even though you are someone who wanted kids, you’re understanding enough to see it from another person’s point of view. We need more people like you in the world.

You’re right. My low sex drive has also caused some problems in my relationship. It was hard to get fully aroused and I struggled with getting “wet”. My partner would often worry and think I didn’t care about him anymore which isn’t true. It would get so bad that I would just basically make myself have sex without being fully all there just so my partner wouldn’t feel so unloved. I once ended up getting a vaginal tear and I had it for ages which made having sex painful even with lube (like having sex with a knife). I went to the doctors and followed their advice but it never went away. It’s gone now and the thing that cured it was regular use of toys and plenty of lube, lol. That’s why I love toys so much. They gave the ability to have sex back to me. Our sex life is better than it was which is good.

That’s funny that you said that about people assuming you don’t want kids because people think the opposite of me. Because I’ve been with my partner so long, some people just assume I’m barren (Who knows? Maybe I could be?) but when I tell them I just don’t want them that’s when we play the 20 questions game. I don’t care what they think anyway. It’s my life and they have nothing to do with it.

Thanks so much for your support and wisdom!

hampshirecouple wrote:

нинаnin wrote:

I'd be interested in hearing your experience at your GP because I asked for sterilization at ages 19, 26, 30 and 35. I got a no every time because they thought I may change my mind.

Never understand why the medical profession (not all) and lots of other people can't get their heads round that not everybody wants kids, we don't have them and have had people question our decision

Exactly! Not everyone has the same mindset and that's fine and we should respect that.

@ Cinderella69 Yes, I think you have a point with the sex workers. It doesn’t seem to be just with prostitutes but also porn stars and cam girls? Maybe they can be viewed to have issues with substances too in the eyes of a medical professional but I really don’t know.

Unfortunately, you are right -they do have all the power (even though our taxes pay for them, shouldn’t I have the power? Heehee) It just seems very hard to reason with these people if society is still a bit uppity about childfree people. But it looks like the environment is changing and more and more people are choosing not to have children. Who knows? Maybe they will adapt to the new environment and take them more seriously when they say they never want kids.

I’ve heard people have an easier time if they go private and pay (I think it costs about £1000). I could go private if I really wanted to but it’s unfair that I should have to pay. Having/not having a child is a choice and no one has to pay for the delivery/care of a baby on the NHS. Even if you can’t afford to look after your child, the government will pay with tax payer money. But even though I’d be saving them money in the future overall, they want me to pay? Seems a bit backward. It’s the principle. This is not cosmetic, this is a life choice for the good of my health and mental health and my right not to procreate.

Don’t worry, I wasn’t mad at you in any way. I know the doctors will say this and you are just pointing that out which is helpful to me so thank you.

I have discussed this many times about women's/men and couple's decison around being childless by choice or not by choice. After lots of involvement in the fertility world.

I have faced strangers asking me about babies after they have noticed I am married. This has always frustrated me. Who gives a stranger the right to assume or even ask about trying for children. That is one concept of marriage that always annoyed me! Marriage = babies, NOPE!

However, we are currently expecting through the process of self-funding IVF(ICSI), again our own personal choice that has faced judgement too. And although we have become part of that marriage 'cliche', we would still have married if the decision was to be childless. That part of our lives does not define us and make our relationship, we existed as a couple before this pregnancy.

I will often give my example of how we came to face IVF, as it was through my partner having a vasectomy at a young age (27). However, I never feel I should tell anyone that they should not do it, just to think about all options. Which, you clearly have done. My example is only a guide for those seeking out possibilities. I certainly have no right to tell people what they should do with their bodies.

Sorry, I am trying to make a point here about your experience too...

My husband did not have to have counselling for his vasectomy, so it sounds like some men and women are treated differently with this option. He spoke extensively with his GP, they also spoke with his ex and after one appointment he was able to go ahead.

I know there is a difference in the process and a woman does have to go through a lot more for the surgery but surely the counselling is either a requirement for all or not at all... Why does anyone that wants to be childless need counselling? And mentally, surely, it is no different to a man saying he does not wish to have children or more children...

I hope the next appointment goes well and you get what you need/want.

HunnyMonster, I hope you’ll get the procedure done without having to fight for it unreasonably long!

I don’t have anything practically helpful to say, but you have my full support. I live in Sweden, I’m soon turning 30, don’t want to have kids and have multiple OHs (I’m polyamorous.) I went to an OB-gyn (public, not private) last october because my hormonal spiral wasn’t working for me and I wanted to get sterilized. He was the worst doctor I’ve ever met and, needless to say, my reproductive system is still intact. This has put me off from trying again with another OB, but I will when I get the courage.

My only suggestion would be to join childfree groups on Facebook and ask there. Don’t forget to mention that you live in the UK IF it’s an international group.

Again, best of luck!!!

I am not in the UK so no practical advise dealign with NHS.

Keep in mind there are different types of IUDs, I have the Mirena and I love it. Very low hormones and does not kill my sex drive live birth control pills did.

Smultron - please go back and keep going back until you get seen by someone (preferably female as for some reason I've almost always had better luck with women) who can help.

Leanne - my friend's husband went through similar circumstances. His ex was adamant that she would not have children but insisted he had the snip. They were both counselled together and I get the impression that he got swept away by her feelings (her way or the door he said, and being too in love to admit he wanted children, he went along with it).

The story has a happy (and twisted) ending. He met my friend, they married, he had a reversal which was successful and they have two children. His ex also had a child! My friend had IVF which initially failed but she started going to Tai Chi and meditating, became a lot more positive with her outlook. She happily admits that the second and third rounds of IVF were obviously why she now has children, but says that her state of mind was so different for the first round that it just felt doomed from the start for her.

I wish you luck with your IVF and hope it goes smoothly for you. Ignore all those who are negative towards you. They're not worth the stress of thinking about. I also feel your pain with strangers feeling they have the right to comment - I went through a similar thing with people when I married my ex. I also had men coming up to me who would try to rub my belly and offer to "do his job properly" for him (those were the days - not far enough behind us, sadly!).

Though I've always wanted a child, I somehow never pushed with my ex. He wasn't fussed - to the point he made me terminate my only pregnancy with him - for which I am eternally grateful, even though I'm very sad not to have had any with my OH now. My divorce was so nasty (matched the relationship), and the thought of having to share custody with my abusive ex still horrifies me at just the mere thought. I don't know if I'd be strong enough to play his games and my energies would have been constantly sapped trying to deal with them. Not to mention being constantly looking out for safeguarding issues.

As women we know what we want, even though some of us may take longer than others to discover this. It's frustrating when doctors don't listen to us. I can see the point with some people but I dislike the attitude some have that they know us better than we know ourselves/what's better for us when it comes to our reproductive systems and then dismiss us.

If we want children we should be supported, if we don't we should be respected.

@ Lovehone-Leanne You are right, it is really frustrating when people expect things of you and your partner. We’re currently looking to buy our first home and I just know it’s gonna be “When are you getting married? When are you having babies? Blah blah…”, after that. They think I’m joking when I say we’re not.

We only get one life and we ourselves must choose how to live it so just ignore those judgemental folks. Life is too short to worry about what they think. I wish you the best of luck!

Counselling seems quite wrong for this like “oh, you’re clearly mad so you need help” type of thing. Yes, talk to me about the procedure and risks like any other medical operation but why on earth do I have to be treated like an insane person doing the wrong thing? Maybe it would help if my partner went with me but I’m not sure. I shouldn’t have to, really.

Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. I hope I can get somewhere.

@ Smultron I’m so sorry you left disappointed. Some doctors just want to treat you like a child and not the right-minded adult you are. I’m worried about being denied (which will more than likely happen) because I know it will dishearten me and I’ll cry my eyeballs out but maybe it will light a raging fire under my butt to fight tooth and nail for it. Don’t give up.

Hmm…if I do get denied, do I have to wait a certain period before I try again? (every Wednesday sounds good…muhaha). Even if they said, “Ok, we’ll do it this time next year” That’s better than nothing, I suppose.

That’s a good idea to look at those groups. Maybe they have some good pointers. Thank you!

SecretGarden - I also had the Mirena. It didn’t affect my sex drive, but I was having spotting, lower abdominal and back pain all the time. Took it out after more than 2 years. Glad it works for you!

VR - I will try again, just not soon... I’m very happy that in the end things worked out for the best for you, and that you found the strength to leave your abusive husband! ❤️

HunnyMonster - This doctor was extremely bad, even though I had written in my ”request” when asking for an appointment that I want to get sterilized, he didn’t even give me a chance to bring it up when we met. Generally there was no communication, he didn’t ask me before removing a polyp, left the room without saying anything while i was in the gyn chair - and more. I have reported him. HOWEVER this is the exception and not the rule, I bet the doctor you’ll meet Will be better than that! And I hope they’ll treat you as an adult and respect your choice. And yes, you can try again if you get denied. UK-based women can give you better info about that.