OBGYN: Yeah, you are exhibiting all the signs of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I’m so sorry.
Me: Huh? Oh, yeah. Insulin resistance, impossible weight loss, pre-disposition to type II diabetes, painful AF periods. Likelihood of bleed outs. Crap. That blows.
OBGYN: Yeah, well that too.
Me: *blinks* What?
OBGYN: Well, PCOS makes it very difficult for a woman to conceive and carry.
Me: BWHAHAHAHA. Yeah. No. No babies. Ever. Never wanted them. At all. Maternal instinct is not strong with this one. Only upside today.
OBGYN: Well then. Not exactly problem solved, but we’ll run with it.
Me: So about the MIND-SEARING PAIN and occasional HEAVY AF BLEEDING. When can we deal with that.
OBGYN: Not until you are 35.
Me: Dah fuq?
OBGYN: Not my rules. Hospitalization won’t even consider any treatment unless it’s life or death until you’re 35.
OBGYN: Because you might want to have a baby.
Me: I’m 31. I didn’t want kids when I was 11, I didn’t want them at 21, and I sure as shit don’t want them now. Can’t I just sign a form that says “I don’t ever want a baby take it out, take it out now”?
OBGYN: Government rules. No removal of baby making parts before 35 unless your life is in immediate jeopardy.
TL;DR: The government knows better about your baby making parts than you do.
This is just evil. They are literally refusing to treat a potentially life-threatening condition, not just without the patient’s consent but despite the patient’s protest. Evil.
According to the National Women’s Health Network, there’s no legal age restriction- “Technically, any woman of legal age can consent to the procedure, but it should be medically justified. It’s incredibly unlikely that a doctor will perform a hysterectomy on women ages 18-35 unless it is absolutely necessary for their well-being and no other options will suffice.” Of course, this is in the US. Other countries may have different rules.
If you’re in the US and your OBGYN says “government says no,” look for a new one because they lied to you. If your OBGYN says that “hospital says no,” look for a new one because this one doesn’t respect your bodily autonomy. It is true that most surgeons don’t like to perform hysterectomies until you’re in your late 30s at the earliest, but a respectful surgeon will listen to their patient and not just write them off. Sexism in hospitals is alive and well– and it’s not just anecdotal evidence. There’s been a history of looking at it academically/professionally since the 70s (look into Mary Halas as a good place to start if you’re curious), and it crops up all the time in articles in the Journal of Women’s Health and Women’s Health Issues, and the International Journal of Women’s Health all of which are peer-reviewed, well-respected medical journals. It’s absolutely a real thing.
Anyways, I guess what I’m getting at is this: here’s a list of doctors (mostly US-centric) who perform different sterilization surgeries without giving their patients trouble. While even a surgeon on this list might caution anyone under 35 away from a hysterectomy, at the end of the day it’s your body and your pain. (And some of the docs here have been known to perform hysterectomies on people in their 20s with no fuss.) While this list won’t be practical for everyone- after all, medical treatment is ridiculously expensive in this country, it might help someone.
Holy shit fam
Holy S H I T
SIGN ME THE FUCK UP I’VE BEEN TOLD THIS IS NOT ALLOWED FOR YEARS
QUICK REMINDER THAT I HAD A HYSTERECTOMY A FEW DAYS AFTER MY 26TH BIRTHDAY B/C I HAD CANCER AND I DID EXACTLY THIS. I HAD A DOCTOR WHO DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT AND THEN I WENT TO A NEW DOCTOR AND AFTERWARDS SHE MORE OR LESS SAID MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN DANGER HAD I NOT DONE IT.
Sometimes it’s not the doctor, it’s the hospital. For example, my OBGYN worked at a Catholic hospital, so they couldn’t perform any type of sterilization onsite unless it was an emergency situation.
So if your doc feeds you this BS line about not being allowed to, ASK IF IT’S THE HOSPITAL POLICY. If it is, ask if they are able to perform the procedure elsewhere. If they are not, ASK FOR A REFERRAL.
I was 28 years old when my OBGYN explained that he wasn’t allowed to perform a sterilization procedure onsite, and then he proceeded to tell me what a crock of shit it was and referred me to someone else who was able to. And even though I was under 30, his referral listed me as “an ideal candidate” for the procedure.
If they pass off this line and insist when you know otherwise, FIND A NEW DOCTOR.
God help American women