Daily Archives: 18/11/2013

The female blogger Silverdrop, shown from shoulders to waist, nude, with her long brown hair covering her breasts.

Our Contraception Journey Part 7: Female Sterilisation

Female Sterilisation

Part 7 of a weekly series. We’ve been through nearly every available contraception method in our efforts to find the right solution for us.

A diagram of the female reproductive system, as seen in a side view cross section.After discovering that I needed to stop using Cerazette, we went back to the NHS’s list of possible birth control methods. SilverHubby has used the diaphragm before with a former partner and already knew that he hated it. In fact, the words he used were ‘I’d rather use condoms’. I’d previously had a bad reaction to spermicidal jelly, a necessary when using the diaphragm or cervical cap, which further eliminated it as a choice. We went over the list again and again, trying to find something we could live with.

Barrier Methods

  • caps – Requires spermicidal jelly.
  • condoms (female) – Expensive and not widely available.
  • condoms (male) – Too much friction for me. Uncomfortable for him.
  • diaphragms – Requires spermicidal jelly. Hated by SilverHubby.

Hormonal Methods

Intrauterine

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

Permanent Sterilisation

The various hormonal methods were rejected since they were all variations of what I’d already tried. Hormones of any sort are going to fuck with my libido or cause migraines or both. Barrier methods are a pain in the ass. I had a bad reaction to the IUD some years back and had to have it removed after only six months. Natural Family Planning, oh my god no, no, no, a million times no. Male sterilisation has already been ruled out.

So that leaves female sterilisation. On the one hand, I really hated the idea of being operated on. On the other hand, if I take the hit now, then we won’t ever have to deal with the whole contraception issue again.

Currently, in the UK, there are two methods of female sterilisation. The first is the standard tubal ligation, in which the fallopian tubes are cut, stitched, or clipped in some way to prevent an egg from reaching the uterus. The other is a non-surgical method called Essure, in which implants are placed inside each tube, causing scar tissue to form and eventually fully block the fallopian tubes.

At first, I really liked the Essure idea, because of the ‘non-surgical’ part of the description. Then it hit the news recently that Erin Brockovich is campaigning against Essure because of the problems some women are having with it. I went to that site and read the stories, and while some of them didn’t seem applicable – one woman, for example, was already pregnant when she had Essure put in. She carried the child to term, but sometime during the pregnancy or recovery the implants perforated the fallopian tubes – it did remind me that I’d be putting something inside my body that might cause a bad reaction, like when the IUD made me bleed constantly. In the end, we learned there are no doctors trained in the Essure procedure in my region, which eliminated it as a possibility.

I read everything I could find about female sterilisation, particularly personal stories, and finally decided it was probably the best decision for us. So we made another appointment with the Family Planning clinic to discuss it.


To be continued…

Our Contraception Journey Part 1: Why is Contraception so Hard?
Our Contraception Journey Part 2: Sterilisation
Our Contraception Journey Part 3: Vasectomy Complications
Our Contraception Journey Part 4: Cerazette
Our Contraception Journey Part 5: Further Vasectomy Complications
Our Contraception Journey Part 6: Cerazette Complications