Did I ever get my tubes tied?

This has always been one of my favorite posts, mainly because it epitomizes everything that’s stressful about young motherhood – not being trusted to know what’s best, even though you have little ones looking up to you for guidance.

I wrote this post about wanting my tubes tied right after my son was born. Enjoy!


“I want my tubes tied.”

It was the first thing I said to my gynecologist after I found out I was pregnant with my second child. It was a year after giving birth to my first.

My doctor hesitated. “I don’t want to tell you no,” he said. “But I will say that I don’t recommend women get their tubes tied, especially at your age. If you regret it, it’s very hard to get it reversed.”

“But I won’t want it reversed.”

“But you might.”

“But I won’t.”

“Tara, you’re only 22 years old. You might want it reversed.”

“I won’t.”

“But you might.”

Around and around my doctor and I argued for the rest of my pregnancy. At 22, it was assumed that I couldn’t possibly know if I’m done having kids.

But if I’m old enough to have a working uterus, shouldn’t I be old enough to decide when it should retire? And if I wanted it reversed later, that’s on me. I made the decision and I’d have to live with it. That’s how adulthood works, right?

I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 20. I was finishing up my senior year of college, working toward a degree in journalism. I had completed a promising internship with Reader’s Digest and was looking forward to returning after graduation.

I gave birth six days before my 21st birthday.

Before my career as a writer could even take off, I had taken a major detour through the land of Dreams Deferred.

And then, when my daughter was 11 months old: I found myself staring down another positive pregnancy test.

Say it with me: Breastfeeding is not birth control. No matter what the old folks say.

I have to be honest. When I saw the pregnancy test, the only thing I could think was: Damn.

My husband’s support was the only thing that kept me going. He has this unbreakable cool. He just doesn’t get flustered – ever. Fatherhood didn’t faze him in the least.

Meanwhile, I wanted to jump off a roof.

Okay, baby number two was on the way. Fine. But as I drove to my first prenatal appointment, I knew I was going to ask my doctor about a tubal ligation after giving birth.

It wasn’t that I resented having my daughter or that I didn’t love her. Quite the opposite. My love for my daughter was all-consuming. Her moods controlled my moods. If she was happy, I was happy. If she was upset, I wanted to die. I couldn’t imagine having two (or more) kids, each with the ability to control my happiness, to tear my heart into several different directions.

I wanted to be a good mom, but I felt I was barely getting the job done with the kid I had.

First, I struggled with breastfeeding. (It’s hard to adjust to a baby hanging off your nipple twelve times a day.) Then I experienced a mild bout of postpartum depression. On top of that, we dealt with her extreme eczema flare-ups that required me to coat her in prescription-strength body oil twice daily.

Once it was time for me to go to work full-time, I discovered that finding suitable, affordable childcare was a drag.  I had to change my work schedule and piece together babysitters here and there.

“I can’t believe I’m going to do this again,” I thought to myself late one night as I rocked my daughter to sleep.

I began to rethink my prior choices of birth control. Clearly I needed something more effective. I’d gotten pregnant while on the pill. And the birth control patch left huge, red, oozing welts on my skin. I had to figure out something.

The truth was: I knew I was done having kids. In my heart, two kids would be more than enough.

And yet, my doctor still won’t consent.

When my daughter is screaming to watch Mickey Mouse for the tenth time or my 10-month-old son is throwing five-pound dumbbells (true story), I’m tempted to camp out in my doctor’s front yard until he puts me on his schedule for the procedure, my age be damned.

Other friends my age reported the same struggles with their doctors. Most doctors want you to wait until you are over 30 with a couple of kids under your belt.

One of my young friends was able to convince her doctor to do the procedure, but only after she had three kids in three years. Too late – she’s full-on crazy now.

After I had my son, my doctor and I settled on the five-year IUD. He assured me it’s 99.8 percent effective, but all I want to do is talk to the 0.2 percent about how they got knocked up.

I’m still considering having the procedure done next year.

Maybe they’ll consider me old enough at 24.


  1. I had the Mirena IUD and I loved it. In fact, after I have my last child, I’m going to get it again because it prevents menstrual migraines (which a tubal or getting my husband a V wouldn’t).

    That said, this kind of paternalistic BULLSHIT really pisses me off. You should threaten to sue. I’m not kidding. If you’re old enough to raise kids, you’re old enough to decide that you don’t want to raise anymore.

    Keep looking until you find a doctor who will do the procedure, or sue your current doctor’s socks off.

    (And I promise, I’m not one of those people who gets all lawyer happy at the slightest thing – I’ve never sued anyone. But this? This could be the next Roe v Wade. Seriously. I think it’s that important.)
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Mommy, Is Kitty Still Died? =-.

    • @Amy – I know, it’s not right, and I still want my tubes tied.

      However. I love my doctor so much. It’s this one area (which is a big area, I admit) that we disagree. But that man has delivered both my babies and seen me through some scary complications with my first. So if it were anyone else, I would probably go find another doctor. I do realize these are all excuses. I realize that. But he is a fab OBGYN…other than this. *ducking tomatoes*

  2. Well, (looking at your response to the comment above) I’m glad you like your OBGYN, even though you disagree in this area. I agree with you 100% – if you are old enough to make the decision to have and raise children, then you are old enough to make the decision to have your tubes tied. End of discussion. It is your body, and you have the right to end your childbearing days. Your doctor should not have the ability to refuse you – that is very wrong to me.

  3. Unfortunately I have seen this happen to more than one of my friends. One is a young mommy, having 3 children before the age of 24, and the other has no children and does not want to have any. Different doctors, same answer: you are too young, you might change your mind. It is mind boggling that our reproductive choices are still at issue.

  4. This subject always amazes me. I am 30 and do not have any children. I got married at 27. Before, I got married, I heard the same excuses: you’re too young and you don’t have any children yet. Now, I’m at “the age” but since I am married, my husband has to give consent-which he is reluctant to do. How unfair is it that we allow women to kill their babies if they don’t want them or that my tax dollars support those that irresponsibly have children that they cannot take care of, but a grown woman who has responsibly used birth control to not get pregnant or have children is questioned?

    • @RW – Your husband has to give consent? Is that just in your state or every state? I’ve never heard that before. Wow.

  5. I adore your post because it hits so close to home. I am twenty two years old with two sons. My oldest is three years old and my youngest is one years old.

    I am also married and flustered at how society really believes a woman’s uterus is a commutative discussion/decision. I’ve chosen to use the depo shot just to make absolutely sure no buns coming rolling out of my oven.

  6. I think I understand where your doctor is coming from…Being a yong mommy of one, (My son will be three in September, where did the time go? lol) I’m 24 now, had my son at 21, and I think about birth control a lot. But I also think about having a second child a lot. And I want for that time to come and be just a special and unexpected as the first, because children come on divine time not necessarily the time we feel we are completely ready or open to it. I think in the middle of the chaos we often find ourselves wanting to close the door to the possibility of more children, but I often find myself talking to women in my family (now in their late twenties and early thirties) who often regret tying their tubes when they thought with such certainty that they were done for good.

    • Beautiful post btw, very open and honest…:)

    • @Reece – I understand where you are coming from. I just think I’m done. I’m finished. The bigger issue isn’t whether I will change my mind later, but what rights should I have as a 24-year-old woman looking to be in charge of my reproductive future. AND as a mom of two! If I later regret my decision, that’s on me. It was my decision, just like it was my decision to have two kids. My babies are a blessing, but I honestly feel stretched to the max with the worry and care and concern I have for these kids. I like the way my life is now. :)

      • I hear you. You are absolutely right, this decision should be what you feel is best for you and your family. Btw, I do know that many doctors do not give men a hard time about tying their tubes (at any age), and that the procedure is much shorter, much cheaper, and more easily reversed if need be :)…

        • @Reece – I’ve made that argument to my husband NUMEROUS times – he’s not biting. LOL

  7. Jamilia says:

    Just wanted to add my two cents. I turned 30 two months before my daughter was born. I knew from the moment that I discovered I was pregnant that this was the last one. When we confirmed what I already knew that we were having a girl- it was really the end. Having two children in two years does something to you as I am sure you will all agree. With that said, there are times when I wonder if I made a hasty decision. But I also feel the same way when I selected a meal at my favorite restaurant- after the decision is made I wonder if I should have gotten something else. Its the nature of the beast. I love my two little ones dearly but I have my hands full and adding another little one would only complicate the situation further so in the end it was the best choice. I know one day- in the very distant future- I will get a puppy and my desire to nuture it will kick into high gear.

  8. LOL @ Tara, in my imagination, I win this argument with my husband, but in real life he looks at me like yeah i’m not doing that lol

  9. I do hate that they make you wait! I’m a consenting adult, and this is my body. I even had a doctor tell me that I shouldn’t get a tubal ligation “Just in case it [the marriage] does not work out, the next husband may want kids [with you]”. She had some nerve.

    • @Mrs. CJ – Yes!!! I don’t know HOW many people had the nerve to say that. “What if you want to have kids with someone else?” I just stare at them blank eyed. Really? You’re putting a timetable on my marriage now? Incredible. If we can get abortions (and I am NOT judging) we should be able to get a tubal, ESPECIALLY for someone like me, who was already having a C-section.

  10. interesting post… I have never considered getting my tubes tied – but then again, I am on no.1! lol I know someone now in her 40s who got her tubes tied in her 20s after 2 kids – she has deeply regretted it. But like you all say, that’s her problem as it was her decision. I’m in the UK and going to make a point of finding out what the procedure is here – whether or not they refuse until you’re 30?!
    .-= Mrs O´s last blog ..Loving you, loving me… =-.

    • @Mrs. O – Part of my reason is I want to enjoy being a young mom at the other end. I gave up my 20s and 30s and I want to enjoy my 40s. If I get pregnant again, I won’t have an empty nest until my late 40s, which means I will have given up my 20s, 30s, AND 40s. There’s something about it that’s unacceptable to me.

  11. awwwww punkin!!!! after all of my bouts with pregnancy and childbirth, i told the hubby that i wont so much as lift a finger to take a pill to prevent furture pregnancies….so he got snipped-WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

    • @Pink Lady – How.wonderful! Man, my hubby was hearing none of that. Maybe if I had twins *wink* he’d cave.

  12. I was exactly where you are except I had 3 boys, and was 23. I got upset when my doc tried to talk me out of it. I thought I knew myself,and everything that I would ever want. Now, I’m 34, and there is nothing I want more than to go back and change that day.

    • @Ella – I’m sorry you regret your decision. Tell me – what’s different now? Why do you want more kids (or at least the ability to have more kids)? I’m geniunely curious. I would like more kids too, but I know with my personality that it would be best if I stuck with my two. :)

  13. Well I also had two children in 2 years. I was 23 years old with two boys whom I love and adore but I wanted so badly to have my tubes tied but same thing…I was too young and not married (my sons’ father and I are married now.) I am now 29 years old (almost at the “appropriate age” to have the procedure) and we have been very careful about birth control until this year and I am now 6 months pregnant with my 3rd child, a girl after one night of not using protection. I know that I will love this child when she gets here but I have been going through an intense case of pre-natal depression and I truly regret not fighting harder to get my tubes tied when I wanted them done. There did come a time when I contemplated having another child and if I had already had my tubes tied I would have probably regretted the decision temporarily as well. So I have to agree with Jamilia I think it is buyers remorse either way but now I have another mouth to feed and instead of being finished raising children at 42 I won’t be done until 48 and to me that sucks…so I would rather regret having had it done than not having it done…Just my opinion. :-)

  14. Well I also had two children in 2 years. I was 23 years old with two boys whom I love and adore but I wanted so badly to have my tubes tied but same thing…I was too young and not married (my sons’ father and I are married now.) I am now 29 years old (almost at the “appropriate age” to have the procedure) and we have been very careful about birth control until this year and I am now 6 months pregnant with my 3rd child, a girl after one night of not using protection. I know that I will love this child when she gets here but I have been going through an intense case of pre-natal depression and I truly regret not fighting harder to get my tubes tied when I wanted them done. There did come a time when I contemplated having another child and if I had already had my tubes tied I would have probably regretted the decision temporarily as well. So I have to agree with Jamilia I think it is buyers remorse either way but now I have another mouth to feed and instead of being finished raising children at 42 I won’t be done until 48 and to me that sucks…so I would rather regret having had it done than not having it done…

  15. I was pregnant with my daughter at 19, had one miscarriage before that, and had multiple complications with the pregnancy on top of financial complications and when I gave birth at 20 I knew that I was done. I had already bitten off more than I could chew, it’s not that I don’t care for my daughter, I just couldn’t put myself through that again. Genetically it wasn’t in my best interests to have a child anyways: I’m lucky that so far she only has ADHD and Type 1 diabetes. I have one of the worst gene pools that I know of. Point being: Even though I was 20 I knew that I was done. My doctor disagreed with me and they forced me to be on the pill instead of doing a tubal like I wanted. So I was taking the pill and I got pregnant. I had an abortion, switched to a different brand of pill and then I got ovarian cysts which I found out is a side-affect of the second brand of pill that I was on. Now I’m constantly in pain, sometimes I can’t leave my room for a couple of days every few months because it hurts to bad when a cyst ruptures, and I’m an irritable bitch because of it. I can’t even have sex with my husband of 8 years because of this. It’s been over a year now! If that doctor would have done his job and listened to my wishes about MY body then I could have been spared all of this physical, emotional, and financial stress in the first place.

    • @Amy – I’m sorry you had to go through that. You would think that because you are 18 and had other circumstances involved in your pregnancy, that they’d treat you like an adult. Of course, they should counsel you and ask you to think through your decision carefully, but that’s just it – it’s YOUR decision. Best of luck sweetie!

  16. Entering this convo late but I MUST post my story as I think it might help encourage other young women to persist with their wishes for their body, whatever it might be. I am 30 now, but have always known Id never want kids. I have nothing against kids in general I’ve just always known that I’m not interested in raising my own and that I’m not a mom. At 21 I got my first bf and we lived happily together, and planned on marrying one day but in no rush. Happily for me he felt the same way I did about kids. At 24 when I found out I needed surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for my doc to tie my tubes at the same time, and at least get some silver lining to having to have surgery in the first place. I really liked the idea of having birth control that required no maintenance. Well I got the same response from my female! doc that a lot of you described above. I am naturally shy and sweet tempered but this pissed me off for the obvious reasons and I became Dragon Lady!! I remained respectful, but girls, I let my anger show!! I think the key to my success…and yes I was successful! Was that I exuded righteous indignation and anger!! While at the same time keeping just enough cool to make sure I sounded intelligent and knowledgeable. It took about one week of phone calls to her office asking her (usually via the secretaries, but still) if shed changed her mind yet, and the last message I left for her was that I’d find another gyno who’d do it if she wouldn’t, and she finally caved. Persistence, letting that righteous anger show while still being respectful, and sounding intelligent are the keys I believe. Good luck ladies! *steps off soapbox*

    • @Kristina – Thanks for sharing your story. I’m still amazed that your doc did the procedure (and you’re right, the two birds in one stone angle is alluring) and you don’t have any kids. Then what the heck is my doc’s problem when I had TWO kids already? Hmmm….still love him but man, it burned me up!

      • Thanks for responding Tara, though im not a mom, i think this blog is a great thing. Oh and let me know if u want the name of my doc lol.
        I have a brother who works in healthcare and he told me that he thinks so many docs are against doing the procedure on young women because they are afraid of getting sued 10 years down the road if someone really did change their mind. Or by someone just looking for money and saying the doc coerced them to do it. This does make some sense to me and is not as maddening to me as a doctor just thinking they know better than you. Maybe you should try just up and promising your doc that you won’t sue him later, hehe.

  17. Omg I just had a brilliant idea…. Print out all the responses above to this issue, bring them to your next appt and read them to your doc then be like….This is why I want it done and I promise not to sue you! Booyah! Slam dunk :-)

  18. mrs. scott says:

    Well I just signed papers this morning to get mine tied. I’m 28, I’ve got a 5 year old, an 11 month old and another onw due in january. I only ever wanted to kids, this last one was definately an accident, my husband and I usually use protection but u know it only takes that one time! I’m just so exhausted from being pregnant two yrS in a row. My doc didn’t have a problem with my decision, but…he doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Catchy. He wants to refer me to someone. I absolutley love this doc ( he delived my last one) but I really didn’t want to be passed on to someone else. I sure hope they don’t hound me like this. I really can’t believe a doc would just flat out say no like that. I feel so bad for u ladies. But then again I guess it makes sense to look at it from the docs perspective. That’s just the risk u take when choosin that career. I’m pretty positive though that I’m done having kids. Shoot I was positive before I got pregnant again!

    • We are definitely in the same boat. LoL The difference is just our kids ages and I’m 29. But I am definitely getting my tubes tied this time. One night we didn’t use protection and I’m due in January, so yes it only takes one time. :-) My older kids are 6 and 7; I never would have had kids 6 years apart on my own but here I am. So congrats baby neighbor…LoL

  19. Jacqueline Brown says:

    I support your decision Tara! I am 24 and got my tubes tied two years ago after my first child. I came from a large family with 5 kids and i resented the fact that both of my parents had to work full time jobs and there was still not enough money or time left over to provide. Not to mentioned that i had suffered through 3 miscarriages before giving birth. If my daughter would not have been born, i was going to get a tubal anyway. It was too much of an emotional trial to keep repeating. This was a choice my husband and I decided early on. I miss the experience of being pregnant and giving birth but I know in my heart we made the right decision.

  20. I have an 8yr old son and I’m 24yrs old now…so u see I started my family fairly young but I have been with the same man all this time after having him so young of course I got on birth control (depo to be exact) after about 6 and half years not having a period and in a lil better position my boyfriend and I decided to have another child…but that was a hard task the depo had stopped me from menustrating all together disabling me to get pregnant…so after doc appt I was told I possibly couldn’t get pregnant..but with prescribed pills it enabled my cycle and like a month later we happily found out I was pregnant. but soon after I miscarried…but then again in a three month gap I found out I was pregnant again! This time it was full term and I gave birth to my precious first girl…now I watched for yrs my mother struggle although she was single and im not but i did not want a lot of kids my mom had 5 kids and my boyfried’s mother had 4…I was happy with two…but just like you at the docs I very strongly stated I wanted a tubal and I recieved the same speech of regret, and age..and even if one of my children died i might want another one or if i met someone else and wanted kids with that person??? I was so upset now jump ahead 15months later and yup I gave birth again to another beautiful little girl…I literally had to beg for a tubal and they finally did it…but i look back and im like i really didn’t want three kids…im stressed everyday and i dont get any breaks cause my boyfriend works so hard all the time to provide for our fast growing family…now im getting the talk about oh u know u can still get pregnant…like leave me alone and its only in rare occassions…I just wanted a permenant protection of having more kids than I can handle

    • @Sylvia – I was always under the assumption that it’s better to think about the kids you have versus the ones that are but a fleeting thought in your mind. I understand doctors hesitate for a variety of reasons, but the reason they play up is that we are too young. If we are old enough to be raising these kids day in and day out every day, how are we too young to decide when we’re done? Are they going to come over and babysit these kids? I don’t think so. LOL.

  21. For what it’s worth, I have a male co-worker, who is 32 and would like to get “snipped.” Because he’s single and “so young” he can’t find a doctor willing to do it for him. (Still not right, of course, but at least it’s going both ways!)

  22. i thinking about getting my tubes tied. im 28 almost 29. i dont have any kids. i dont want any kids. i wonder if the Dr, will tie my tubes?.

  23. It’s going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this fantastic post to increase my knowledge.


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