Elizabeth Amond, 29, says she always knew she didn’t want children.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to be a parent. I have a lot of mental health issues and concerns and I really, really have ADHD. I’m not saying that everyone like me shouldn’t have a child.” .. but in my case, I’m saying I won’t be fit,” Amond explained. “I would happily adopt before I could have a baby, but I don’t want one.”
So as soon as she turned 18, she says she asked her doctor about tying the tube.
Tubal ligation is a form of permanent contraception. This involves tying or cutting a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.
But she says her doctor refused because she was too young.
During the last 10 years, he claims that he has spoken to around 30 doctors and all have refused to do the procedure.
“Some doctors say, ‘No, we don’t do that on young girls,’ or some laugh and say, ‘No, we don’t do that.’ … recently some doctors were even horrified and they said, ‘No, I really don’t want to do that, you have to have a sterile (IUD) inserted,'” Amond said.
She says that she is disappointed.
Verdit Ravitsky, professor of bioethics at the Université de Montréal, says Amond is not alone.
“Unfortunately and brutally, this is very common,” Ravitsky said.
Ravitsky believes that it is common for some physicians to believe that if they accept the request, they may harm the patient.
“To me, it’s just a reflection, first of all, of gender inequality, because men have no problem accessing a vasectomy upon request,” Ravitsky said. “But beyond gender inequality, it actually stems from very strong cultural forces that still see a woman in 2022 choosing not to have children for the rest of her life is not normal.”
The Quebec Obstetricians Association (AOGQ) would not comment on Amonde’s case but says in general terms it should not.
The association’s president, Dr. Dario García, says that once a healthy patient is fully informed of what the procedure is and its risks, as well as about the options available – and they provide informed consent – doctors will be able to provide treatment. should not be denied.
“It’s not up to the doctor to make that kind of decision, it’s up to the woman herself; she’s the master of her body, she’s entitled to make decisions on her own body,” Garcia said. “If it’s happening because of what the doctor might think, it shouldn’t be happening. It’s not acceptable.”
Garcia says the process is not simple and carries risks.
“In the worst-case scenario, you could damage the blood vessel, depending on how big the blood vessel is, you could even die from it,” Garcia said. “Tubal ligation has a failure rate of 0.5 percent, which means five cases in 1,000. If we’re talking about IUDs, your chances of getting pregnant are one in 1,000.”
In Quebec, the number of women undergoing tubal ligation has nearly halved over the past 10 years.
2,647 women underwent the procedure in 2011, compared to 1,398 women in 2021, according to data from the Regi de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ), a Quebec health insurance provider.
Most women who undergo the procedure are in their 30s and older.
In 2021, 1,254 women over the age of 30 received tubal ligation surgery, compared to 144 women under the age of 30.
The Association of Quebec Obstetricians says surgery has declined because there are more effective and low-risk methods of contraception, such as the IUD.
As for Amonde, she says she just wants to be self-determination about her reproductive system, and she wants doctors to take her request seriously.
“I don’t think they want to listen to me,” Amond said.
Amond says she wants to go private so that her wishes are respected.
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