By Chanda Alicea
I want to address an issue based on a recent experience. I recently had my fallopian tubes removed in order to help aid some of the issues I have with my PCOS and reproductive system. This is something I have been fighting to have done for a long time.
Why am I talking about this? Well because, this is an important decision. A decision that a woman makes or that is made between 2 people if you’re in a relationship. I have had this conversation with people before, as did my partner a couple of weeks ago. And just like I’ve heard, had to justify and explain to people when asked, he had to do the same song and dance when someone stated that he should get a vasectomy instead. This seemingly innocent statement actually frustrates me. I appreciate that everyone has an opinion, but I don’t appreciate that people think that they should insert their opinion on such a personal and important matter.
My intention here is not to upset anyone, but to educate everyone to be more thoughtful about the things that you say. The truth is that I don’t care if my partner has a vasectomy or not. Him having a procedure isn’t going to help me in anyway at all. Women’s reproductive rights are not something that people need to just take a step back and mind their own business when they don’t know what the situation is. I know it may be taboo to touch on this, but I’ve been in more conversations than I can count where I have felt like I’ve had to justify why I wanted to make the decision I have in regard to permanent changes with my body and reproductive organs.
I get it, someone else might worry that I may one day change my mind about having another kid. Truth is, I won’t. We’re done. I knew after I had my daughter that I didn’t want anymore kids. I had so many health risks due to being morbidly obese during my pregnancy. I’m actually still trying to heal my body from the damage that was done from my daughter sitting on my back. But I know more than anyone what a huge decision it is, but I’ve got it from here people, thanks…
I’ll be honest with you, the process for a woman to make any decision regarding reproductive changes. It’s not just about the pressure you feel to make the right decision about my body and what I’m willing to put up with and what I won’t continue to suffer through. But you feel like you are being second guessed along the way. In case you don’t know, once you make the decision to go through with the procedure, you have to sign a document stating that you know you are aware that once this procedure is done, you can no longer get pregnant. Okay…cool, clearly for legal purposes this is something that insurance companies want you to do to avoid lawsuits. No big deal right??
Nope, it’s a big deal. So big in fact, that once you’ve been prepped, poked and prodded by a slew of medical staff asking you to tell them “in your own words, what are you here for?” I answered the same question AT LEAST 10 times.
ME (totally having this conversation in my head and not out loud) “Hey guys, I know you want to make for sure that I’m cognizant of what’s going on, but really, I’ve got it, you’ve got it, we’ve all got it at this point. You’re taking away my ability to produce eggs. Do I really need to keep saying this?”
Medical staff response would go something like this: “Why yes ma’am, you do. Everyone who comes in here is going to ask you what we are doing to you, it’s policy. And in addition, we’re going to make you sign another document stating that you’re aware that while pregnancy is not a likely possibility, because you’re being sterilized, it’s still a tee tiny probability because you still have your other girl parts. So, if you could go ahead and sign here after we’ve blown a vein in the forearm that you write with, that’d be great.”
So yeah, any woman who has gone through this procedure, knows what’s going on. We know what we’re doing. We know what is being done. We know what we’re giving up. Believe me, we didn’t make this decision lightly. We signed part of our life away in a sense. While you think you may be offering some type of help by suggesting that a man ease the burden by having a vasectomy because it’s “easier”, please, stop yourself. Stop thinking that you have the answer and the easier solution to someone else’s life that they just may not have thought of. None of us know what anyone else is going through, so it’s never our place to insert our opinions on important decisions like these, and we really need to step away from feeling so free and brazen to make statements like this.
XOXO – Chanda