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My tubal ligation story
Category: Guest Blogs
I was 21 and my husband was 23 and we were expecting our second child. We decided early on in the pregnancy that we were done with children and we began discussing permanent birth control methods. I thought since I would already be in the hospital, I might as well get a tubal ligation done. I had a midwife and when I went in for the weekly appointment, I figured I should bring it up. My midwife was very surprised, not only because I would have 2 children (both girls at that) but also because of my age. I was asked 'are you sure?' more times than I can count. She told me it was permanent and irreversible, nothing other than that. She had me sign a consent form and that was the end of it. At 37 weeks, my water broke and an hour later a healthy baby girl was born. I asked when I get wheeled down for surgery and everyone was confused. I asked when I get to see the midwife and they were even more confused... Turns out the midwife left the practice a few weeks before. Even worse than that, they had no consent form. I was so sure of my decision, my husband and I spoke about it, how easy it would be and how great it would be. At 6 weeks postpartum, I signed another consent form. I had a list of questions for the doctor: what are the side effects? Does it matter that I have a metal allergy? What is post tubal ligation syndrome? ...etc I also wanted the cut and burn method but this doctor only uses Filshie Clips, she didn't answer any of my other questions and I didn't really ask anything else, just signed a form and left. The day of my surgery came, June 28, 2013, it was filled with more 'are you sure' questions. As soon as I woke up from anesthesia, I noticed a dull ache over my left ovary. Weeks went by and still that pain was there, I was breastfeeding so I had no problem with periods. Weeks turned into months and I began to wonder what the pain was from. I visited with the surgeon and she said that pain was normal, so I left with even more questions. Slowly more symptoms came up: fatigue, weight loss, moodiness, more ovarian pain. I began to chart my cycles again, I was still ovulating on the same cycle day and my periods were 3 to 4 days of very light bleeding, they were better than before the tubal. That pain became the worst thing ever. I didn't want to get out of bed, couldn't go on our long walks anymore, felt awful. I went from doctor to doctor to doctor trying to find answers. Finally just before it had been one year since the tubal ligation, I got answers from a different doctor. He did a sonogram and found adenomyosis, possible endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cysts, calcification of the bowel wall, and blood clots in my fallopian tubes. At least I knew what the pain was from, it wasn't long before I wanted to know what caused all these syndromes and problems. That's when Google searches began finding more about PTLS and problems with tubal ligations. I contacted my health insurance and found that a full reversal was covered, found a doctor who would do the surgery, everything was coming together, the doctor and her staff didn't think I was crazy, she actually wanted to help me, I thought I would feel myself again... Then I found out that the hospital wasn't in our network and we couldn't afford it. I contacted every hospital within 50 miles of where I live and either they had no doctor who could perform a reversal or that didn't offer that service at that hospital. Other doctors hadn't done a reversal in so long, they opted for IVF. I began to lose hope, here I was, a 22 year old feeling like death was around the corner, like nothing could be done. I began blaming myself for not researching enough, for not asking questions. I had no energy to do anything, my hair was falling out in clumps, acne everywhere, moodiness, anger outbursts, constant dull ache over my left ovary, forgetfulness, dry vagina, extreme pain during sex, and nausea every morning. The women from the Facebook post tubal ligation support group were so helpful and nice, for once I finally felt like I wasn't alone. On November 11, 2014, I met with a doctor who could remove my clips but not do a full reversal and on November 24, 2014 I had surgery to remove the Filshie Clips.
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