I'm less than two months from twenty-one, and to me, that sounds like the ultimate "I'm finally a true adult" age. But I'm not naive. I know that I'm young — still a child in the eyes of many of the elders in my life (and by elders, I don't mean old people, I mean those who are significantly older than me).
However, as I've stated before many times, I am not going to have children, and I have known this since I myself was a child.
That isn't the point of this though — the point is that, while birth control is absolutely a viable option, I want to be 100 percent certain that I will never become pregnant, and no matter what birth control I choose, there will always be the tiniest chance that it will fail.
And if it fails, I will make a difficult decision. I don't want to, but I will.
So, sooner rather than later, I want to get my tubes tied. Tubal ligation, to be specific.
If I could, I would get my ovaries removed, but that isn't an option unless I were to contract ovarian cancer or a similar disease. I am fully aware that this decision is permanent, and cannot be reversed. I may be young, but I already know. I don't need to be told that if for some reason I changed my mind, this is a choice I cannot go back on. I'm fine with that. I want my tubes tied, and I want it done as soon as I can possibly do it.
I know that I'm not the only young woman out there who is struggling with society's view on this issue. Most of the doctors we ask about this will tell us to wait a few years or insist that they can't legally perform this procedure until after we've already had children.
This is not true.
They are fully capable of performing tubal ligation given your consent, but they are afraid that one day we women will somehow regret not having children, and try to sue them for it. So here's the thing — we will give them more than our consent. We will give them proof beyond doubt that we know what we want, we know what it entails, and we will do what it takes to get what we want.
To begin with, do your research. Form a binder with this research and bring it to your consultation appointment. Explain that you have considered the options, and this is the one you choose. And if they still doubt you, present them with your research. This is a link to a Reddit user's build-a-binder guide that will help you get started.
Here is a current list of doctors across the United States and several other countries that should help you get sterilized with minimal issues. It is likely that if you are around my age, you may get some reluctance, but be persistent. I'm lucky — the on-campus clinic at Texas A&M has a connection to a doctor nearby that will perform the surgery on women my age. At this point, the only reason I haven't made an appointment is that I'm not sure how much of the surgery my insurance will cover, and how much I myself will be responsible for. I understand that this isn't a resource that most women in college have, but the list above may be a good starting point.
There are always going to be people who don't agree with your decision, but the thing to remember is exactly that: it is your decision.
For the women out there like me who don't want children and want a permanent solution in tubal ligation, I hear you and I'm with you.