As I’ve stated in part I of this post series, having children is something I do not ever wish to do. I have made it 27 years and have not swayed from this decision. So, why deal with the stresses of menstruation, monstrous cramps, bloating, tampons and birth control for the remainder of my childbearing years? I cant find a good reason to put up with it. So for this reason, I have searched out options for permanent sterilization, in combination with procedures to end my menstrual cycle. I am excited to say that my pursuit for sterilization has finally been met with success. I have found a surgeon who is willing to take on my case, and I am officially scheduled for surgery. When I met with the surgeon I was very apprehensive, as this was the second physician I had consulted with about methods of sterilization. My previous physician turned me away (for more details, see my original permanent sterilization post). This new surgeon was refreshing. She did not condescend, she did not make assumptions, or press her personal views on me. She did not do anything other than ask questions, listen and give informative options. She took me seriously and did not brush off my concerns. She gave me a few options to consider. She could do tubal ligation, combine that with a hydrothermal ablation to stop the menstrual cycle, or a hysterectomy. I ultimately decided on the partial hysterectomy.
Initially, I was pursuing a tubal ligation (tube tying) in combination with hydrothermal ablation. An endometrial ablation is a technique used to cauterize the uterine lining which results in scar formation. The purpose is to reduce menstrual flow or complete amenorrhea (ceasing of the menstrual cycle). Hydrothermal technique uses hot water for this process. Patients are usually awake for these procedures. Unfortunately, I have a deformation of the uterus, called a bicornuate uterus. When the uterus develops it starts as two horns and then forms into a larger balloon like structure. My uterus never fully formed leaving me with two separate (bi) cavities. Technically two uteri. My bicornuate status is severe enough that an ablation would most likely be ineffective. I could still get tubal ligation but my desire to never ever have another period again is too strong to settle for anything less.
So, hysterectomy it is. A partial hysterectomy consists of removal of the uterus, (uteri in my case) fallopian tubes, and cervix, leaving the ovaries intact. This will be a laparoscopic procedure, with three small incisions in my lower abdomen. The uterus will be cut into several small pieces and then extracted vaginally. This results in shorter recovery time when compared to abdominal extraction. My ovaries are not being removed therefore it won’t alter my hormone production. Luckily, I will not have to experience the wonders of menopause until it hits me naturally. Recovery time varies, but it is about a week to be able to sit and move around comfortably, and up to six weeks before I can resume exercise and regular routines involving movement.
Hysterectomy is a more invasive surgery requiring going under general anesthesia, and recovery is longer. If this is something you are considering for yourself then tubal ligation and ablation is probably a better option. For women who are only concerned with permanent sterilization, tubal ligation is the gold standard.
I plan to video blog leading up to the surgery as well as the recovery. The surgeon also said she would provide photos of the surgery. Please stay tuned for Part III of my permanent sterilization process.