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To want to be sterilised even though I've never had children?

(158 Posts)
QueenStromba Wed 17-Aug-11 02:17:22

I've been hanging around on Mumsnet for the last 9 months or so. This is partly because this is a fantastic and highly entertaining community to be a part of and party because I was curious about how the other half lived. I've always thought that I didn't want children and would have been happy to be sterilised if I thought that they'd do it for me but didn't think they would due to the fact that I'm 29 and haven't had kids. I just happened to mention to my contraceptive nurse that I would like to be sterilised and she said that they might well do it if I was completely sure that it was what I definitely wanted. I thought about it for months and I spent a long time on mumsnet to try to understand what motherhood is really like. I've decided that it really isn't for me so I'm posting here either for reassurance that if I really don't think it's for me then I should get sterilised or to have a proper argument about it with someone so that I rethink it and decide that I should either wait or not have it done at all.

NorksAreMessy Wed 17-Aug-11 02:23:54

Hello QS OK, here we go

Why are you sure you don't want children?
Why do you think sterilization is a better option than contraception?
What does your DP think?
Have you friends with/out children?

Janeymax Wed 17-Aug-11 02:24:19

It might be a dealbreaker for a partner. Is that okay for you?

squeakytoy Wed 17-Aug-11 02:30:55

I didnt want them when I was 20, 30, or 35... I desperately want a child now, so be aware, your feelings CAN change.

I would be very very reluctant to make such a drastic decision like that.

debivamp Wed 17-Aug-11 02:46:58

I totally get where you are coming from. At 29 I had no intention of ever being a mum. I had a career, my own home and did not need a man let alone a baby. Then at 33 i met my DH. It was (hate to say) love at first sight and in less than a year I was engaged and had my DD. 7 years later I can honestly say that she has and is the best thing that I have ever done. She makes me laugh ever day and I not only love her, I have fallen in love with her. Being a mum is scary, but soo rewarding. What ever decision you make please be sure that you will definately not regret it. Nothing is worse for the human spirit than to live with regret. Good luck.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 17-Aug-11 03:55:06

If I were to lurk around extreme sport sites on the net for an age and then some, not by any stretch of the imagination could I get even remotely close to the real-life experience of riding a bucking bronc in the heat of a Texas Rodeo, or skiing off piste on the crisp white powder of the Rhone-Alpes.

Similarly, you cannot begin to imagine whether motherhood will be to your taste or not simply by observing what others have to say on the subject.

You may or may not reach the end of your life in a childless state and you may or may not regret being childless, but one thing's for sure: your life is your personal adventure through your own as yet uncharted territory and, if you want it to experience it to the max, you're best advised to keep your options open until nature decides otherwise.

CheerfulYank Wed 17-Aug-11 04:05:55

Why don't you think motherhood is for you? No judgment, just asking. smile

Thumbwitch Wed 17-Aug-11 04:06:45

Why would you want to be sterilised as opposed to continuing with contraception?
You may be very sure now that you don't want children; you may change your mind, you may not. But why take that choice away from yourself?

You do not say whether or not you have a long-term partner - if you do, how does he/she feel about it?

I have a friend who was adamant that children were not for her - and she was sure about that right up until her mid-30s, when she had her DS. Tbh, I don't know whether or not he was planned, or an accident - but she loves being his mum.

I myself was quite ambivalent about it - I only had DS because my DH wanted children, no question - but I'm so glad I did. I also didn't feel like I wanted children in my entire 20s - but a small part of me knew that if I was told I could never have them, I'd be upset.

The thing is, you can't be sure that your feelings are always going to stay the same, unfortunately. That is not meant to be patronising - it is pretty factual - people change. So, as long as the contraception is working for you and not causing you any problems, I would say stick with that rather than taking an almost irreversible step.

PlumBumMum Wed 17-Aug-11 04:09:27

I honestly think you should not have it done,
you never know what the future holds and you may never want a baby BUT if you change your mind, the need for a baby is a powerful one that can turn a completely sensible person crazy (lighthearted sense of the word), it can take over your life, and if that happens and you have taken away your ability to have your own child?

Thumbwitch Wed 17-Aug-11 04:10:50

Oh, and I hope you're not playing "childed bingo" or whatever that child-hating site calls it - but it is a very true thing that for some people, feelings change enormously when they hold their baby. Right up to the day of my induction I wasn't sure whether or not I was doing the right thing having a baby - but when he was born, I changed. I amazed even myself and all my friends were a bit "who ARE you?" - you can't account for that at all without going through it.

If you don't ever have children, then that choice is fine for you to make for yourself, no one should blame you for deciding not to have children. I do not advocate that you should have children because "then you'll see" - all I'm saying is that you can't know just now that you will always feel the same way.

CheerfulYank Wed 17-Aug-11 04:19:40

Would you get a sterilization that you could reverse?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Aug-11 04:23:10

It's Breeder Bingo, Thumbwitch.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 17-Aug-11 04:24:38

I suspect that it is an NHS requirement for any childless female seeking elective sterilisation to undergo a psych evaluation prior to decisions being made.

In the best interests of your physical and mental health and wellbeing, and for that of others who may be contemplating treading the same path, I sincerely hope that any such evaluation is not cursory.

Thumbwitch Wed 17-Aug-11 04:36:45

Cheers, MrsTP - couldn't remember the actual phrase but I remember when some people from that child-hating forum came over here for "laughs" and then went back onto their forum and were pretty unpleasant about it all. Hope that's not happening again - it's so unnecessary!

If you don't want children, don't have them; but don't assume you will NEVER want children until it's too late for you to have them anyway.

MrsHicks Wed 17-Aug-11 08:48:09

I suspect that it is an NHS requirement for any childless female seeking elective sterilisation to undergo a psych evaluation prior to decisions being made.
It's not and it shouldn't be! Women are not feeble minded children who need medical people (most likely men) to tell them that their decision about their own bodies are OK. They are adults capable of making up their own mind about what happens to their body and the decision not to have children is every bit as sane and rational as deciding to have them and should be treated as such. It's not pathological, FFS, and the inference that their might be something psychologically wrong with a woman who decides not to have children is pretty offensive. No-one suggests that women choosing to have a baby, a far more serious decision, should undergo a psych evaluation. Can you imagine if every person talking about TTC was asked "But what if you change your mind later?" - many actually do when it's too late.

OP, you are not BU to consider this. If you've considered it carefully, in the same way you'd consider whether you did want a baby, then I would say go for it. You don't know whether you'll regret it later, but that's the same as deciding to have children. In both cases you need to be sure that the balance of probabilities is that you won't, but that you'll deal with it if you do.

For the record, I have a son who I adore and definitely don't regret happen, but I do feel strongly about the knee-jerk reactions to any woman saying they don't want children. Someone talking about sterilisation is pretty sure, clearly more sure than the women who say "But I changed my mind" were in their 20's and 30's, so they should be taken seriously.

Iggly Wed 17-Aug-11 08:51:37

Honestly? You're only 29 and many things could change. There are plenty of contraceptives out there - ok, might not be 100% effective but pretty damn close.

Why do you want to take such a drastic step?

Also not sure reading MN is the best way to make a decision wink if I read the relationships board before marrying DH, not sure I'd want to as you only get a certain perspective grin

venusandmars Wed 17-Aug-11 09:01:23

I have a couple of friends who have chosen not to have children. One friend loves kids, is a wonderful aunt to her neices and nephews, but she does not want that responsibility for herself. When she married, it was to a man who was of a similar viewpoint. She told me that she would not have married someone who wanted kids - it would not have been fair on either of them.

Another couple I know surprised us all by being the first of our friends to have a vasectomy. They had just turned 40, they didn't/don't want kids, and his wife didn't want to continue taking the pill for ever.

But I agree with izzywizzy I'm not sure what answers you're going to find on here.

Sewmuchtodo Wed 17-Aug-11 09:18:28

I have a very close friend who felt the same as you OP throughout her 20's and early 30's. She didn't marry the man she loved as she knew he wanted kids and she didn't.

At 38 she had a 'moment' and suddenly realised she wanted what everyone else was doing.....marriage, family, national trust pass (sad but true).

She is now 42 and has just went through her 3rd course of ivf on her own. Sadly it has ended in mc and she has decided to give up sad

If you are sterilised you can't change your mind.

BiscuitNibbler Wed 17-Aug-11 09:31:09

I'm on the fence on this one. I never really wanted children til my mid-thirties, so yes, feelings can change, but I know that isn't the same for everybody.

I have two friends who were sterilised in their 20s without having had children. One doesn't regret it at all (early 40s) and one wishes she hadn't done it, although is still pretty sure she doesn't want children (mid-thirties).

Personally I would advise against it "just in case" but I wouldn't stop anyone who wanted it done going for it. After all, if it is the right choice you have saved yourself a lot of hassle over the years. If it isn't the right choice, well you just have to live with that. We all make mistakes!

DrKoothrappali Wed 17-Aug-11 09:36:18

If I were you I wouldn't do it. I know two women who have changed their minds later on in life and tried to have a baby in their late thirties, early forties.

One woman always said she didn't want children, her DH agreed they didn't want them. Then she found DH was having an affair, they split. She met new DH and for the first time ever found she really wanted a baby. She said when she met him her first thought was 'christ, I want your babies' which terrified her so much she avoided him for the next 3 months! They are on their second round of IVF at the moment, she is 41.

My other friend, well old colleague actually, was sterilised in France where she lived in her twenties. She met her DP in her mid thirties and is now trying to adopt, though she has been told she is unlikely to be successful due to her and her DP's age.

Sterilisation is forever and you don't know where life is going to take you. Unless you already have it, could something like the ten year copper coil be an option? I have it, its in for the next ten years and once a month I just have to check the strings are still in place and thats it, job done, no more babies for me.

rainbowinthesky Wed 17-Aug-11 09:40:23

I wouldnt make such a life determining decision at the age of 29. You have many years in which to change your mind.

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Wed 17-Aug-11 09:45:17

Whatever you decide think long and hard about it. Then when you think you've thought enough think a little bit more. Consider each scenario and think about how it makes you feel both logically and emotionally.

Although I agree with MrsHicks to a certain extent, if you think it would help, talk to someone who will remain impartial.

Squitten Wed 17-Aug-11 09:47:04

DH's ex-GF was voluntarily sterilized when she was 24. I wonder if she's still happy with that choice now, a decade later. When I was younger, I was sure I didn't want kids and now I have two and we're not done yet.

I suppose only you know your own mind but it's an awfully big life avenue to cut off if you don't have to. Why do you need to make it permanent?

MrsHicks Wed 17-Aug-11 09:49:40

I wouldnt make such a life determining decision at the age of 29.
So no-one should make such a life determining decision to have children at or before 29? Really?

rainbowinthesky Wed 17-Aug-11 09:51:14

No, I didnt mean that hmm. I meant the life changing decision this thread is about.

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