Permanent Birth Control

Star LaBranche brings us our latest childfree story. Star is a freelance writer and editor. She tells us that only reason she would ever have children would be in order to buy Hello Kitty items that are made for small people. She currently lives with a large, fluffy cat and writes for her personal website

Star’s Childfree Story

Star LaBranche

Star LaBranche

I was sterilized at the age of 21. I had started researching permanent birth control methods at age 16. By the time I was 19, I was certain that I didn’t ever want to have a baby. One thing that gave me pause during my research was the idea of tubal ligation being a serious, invasive, not completely effective procedure that could lead to early menopause and other serious complications. But then I discovered the Essure procedure and everything fell into place.

Essure was a relatively new procedure when I first found out about it. The way it works is to insert a nickle and titanium coil into each fallopian tube. Scar tissue builds up around the coils and prevents eggs from making the journey from the ovaries to the uterus. The eggs are reabsorbed into the body and the woman continues to menstruate normally. The success rate with this procedure is incredibly high and the changes of complications are very low.

When I sought out a gynecologist to perform the sterilization, I was completely clear with him. I told him that I had no maternal instincts whatsoever, I had no desire to procreate, and the only thing that had ever appealed to me about children was getting to name them. Which is not a good reason to have a baby. Just in case he thought I wasn’t serious, I added that if he wouldn’t sterilized me, I would find someone else who would. So all he could do was really save me some time and effort. My doctor, who is a very easy going man, didn’t give me any grief about my unusual choice or my desire to never have children.

He asked me if I had any questions about the procedure and I made it quite clear that I had done all of my research on the topic and knew exactly what I was doing. I underwent the Essure procedure a few months later. The procedure was quick and more uncomfortable than painful. They gave me a Valium to relax me and I quickly discovered that I am hilarious on Valium. Afterward I had some minor cramping and took a nap on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. That was basically all there was to getting the coils implanted.

Before the procedure, I had only told a few select people about what I was planning on doing. I knew that people wouldn’t understand and didn’t want to hear more about how my biological clock would go off one day and I would wake up with a burning desire to give birth. The people I did tell all had the same reaction of absolute horror and assurance that I would deeply regret this decision one day and one day soon.

It’s now been almost eight years since I was sterilized and I have never looked back. I strangely never switched into mommy mode and started crying at Gerber commercials. I was told that once I find the right man, my decision about children would change. I am now engaged to the right man and neither of us want children. So that theory didn’t pan out either.

While my choice was an unconventional one, it was absolutely right for me. I knew myself very well at an early age and I knew what I wanted to do (and not to do) with my body. I sometimes think about what I would do if I could do it all over again and I know I would absolutely get Essure again if I had the option. No one would have blamed my gynecologist for looking at a 21-year-old girl wanting to make a permanent decision about birth control and thought of her as a bit off. Mine respected my wishes, albeit, unconventional ones, and listened to me about this important issue.

I’ve heard of women who were in their 30s and had children who were refused sterilization and it just makes me angry. Even the best doctor in the world doesn’t know what’s the correct number of children for a woman to have or if she should have any at all. This option is up to the woman and whomever she decides to include in the decision. Being childfree is an important choice to make. But it’s one that should be respected in all cases.

22 Responses to Permanent Birth Control

  1. Misha June 10, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    Who was your doctor?? My current one told me he wouldn’t even consider sterilizing a 30 something year old woman that had kids when i brought up the subject. Between that and all the horror stories about not being able to find doctors that will sterilize on the internet I’m afraid I’ll never find a doctor.

  2. Mishelle Moore June 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Please join the Essure Problems fb page and look into the possible side effects of Essure. They are NOT being accurately reported by the manufacturer .. also you should note that at this point in time there are members of the medical community estimating the failure rate of Essure at closer to 10% and like other permanent bc methods it gets worse over time. I’d ask my hubs to get a vasectomy if I were you.

  3. oneandonlywife620 June 14, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    I have to agree with everyone else, Essure is horrible!!!. I was healthy before getting this done!!. Now I am always having pain, every where!!!. Headaches, depression, anxiety, arthritis and Fibro!!!. The list goes on!!. To top all of my pain I am now 14 days late with my period!!!. I have read sooo many stories where there are woman getting pregnant 2 years after Essure, 4 years 6 years and so on!!!. And now I might be one of them too!!. Even though I was told it is 99% effective with not getting pregnant!!!. I have 2 kids already. And my husband and I both have the gene for Cystic fibrosis!!. Which could be deadly to a baby!!!. So I thought My husband and I were doing the right thing by getting my tubes tied (Essure Procedure). WOW was I wrong!!!. I regret my decision on getting the Essure Procedure done May of 2008!!. I wish people would do more research before getting this done!!!. I am glad there are some people who have no problems!!!. But before any of you that didn’t get it done yet, but are debating on getting this….PLEASE DO YOUR HOME WORK!!!. Because if you don’t you could be the next woman complaining of all your problems you are having after getting it done!!!!. 🙁

  4. Deb June 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    I pray that you continue to stay healthy and that the coils do not migrate like they did to me. That is only one issue amongst the numerous complications that I have from Essure. Good luck to you. I really wish that you wouldn’t advertise it as a form of birth control for young women. There are so many young women in their 20’s and 30’s having hysterectomies because of the painful complications this product has caused.

  5. jamie maney June 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    I am glad that you have had success with this procedure. There are however thousands of woman that have not. You may have issues or symptoms that you never had before and haven’t linked them to it. I know personally I have major abdominal pain. Have my period 23 days at least of the month. And I hope for your case of never wanting children this procedure does work for you however a little more research would show you the Success rate however isn’t what they make it out to be. Hundreds of woman have gotten pregnant , misscarried, or worse lost their sweet innocent baby due to this procedure.

  6. Sas0822 June 11, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Essure is a terrible product. Plenty of woman are still getting pregnant, and having horrible side effects. They’re having hysterectomies due to coils migrating, and other horrible side effects. Did you know that the coils have animal fibers in them as well? If you love your body and your husband don’t get this!! Research this, even Erin Brokovich I fighting this product.

    • Amanda June 13, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      PET fibers are not animal fibers, lol. it stands for Polyethylene terephthalate, a type of resin in the polyester family.

  7. Amanda June 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    I am 32, got Essure at 25. I too am nulliparous, Kudos to you and your doctor(and mine) for letting you do this. However, there are real side effects to getting metal in your body, and I am paying the price. My back hurts all the time, my periods are messed up, and it has caused abdominal distension from causing my uterus to expand( it is meant to cause inflammation, that is what closes your tubes) Also, there have been many women get pregnant with Essure in, so please don’t think you can solely rely on this.

  8. Michelle June 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    While I commend your choice to not have children, I wonder if you are actually having adverse effects without even realizing it. I had the procedure done 6 years ago. I’ve had stomach and bowel issues, acne, odd bruises, hair loss, leg pain, and more recently, irregular periods. It wasn’t until I was over a week late that I researched Essure to find that, not only is it possible to still get pregnant, but it may be the cause of all my other ailments. I used to advocate for the procedure as well, until I found out about all the problems it can cause. I no longer recommend it to anyone! I truly hope you never have to experience some of the horrible side effects some women have or even worse, become pregnant since you obviously don’t want to have a child. I wish you the best of luck, but please don’t say Essure is great, because it’s not. I am seriously considering a hysterectomy at the age of 36 just so I can feel normal again.

  9. Leslie June 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    With all the women who have Essure and then still have babies! I am glad this is working for her! Tons of women still get pregnant after Essure is confirmed and there are so many other issues that this device causes, I would not recommend this for sterilization is you are positive you don’t want any(more) children!

  10. April June 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Essure fails way more often than they state and many many times this “painless non invasive procedure” ends in one or more very serious surgeries to remove it and all the fragments from it migrating and breaking imside womens bodies, sometimes a coil falls out of the woman on it’s own, the nickel and other metals and PET fibers cause numerous serious long term and debilitating conditions for thousands of women. Don’t believe me? Go online and read the FDA adverse events reports on this product Essure. I am glad that you have not had serious surgeries yet but some have it longer than your 8 years before the serious problems start, I’d guess that you have problems now that you don’t know are from essure as well. I’m all for your decision for permanent sterilization but you should NOT be advocating for a product that causes harm to realistically tens of thousands of women.

  11. Bird in Hand June 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    I’m always happy when people who don’t truly want children decide not to have them. I have Essure. I hope you don’t go through the hell it has put me – and MANY other women – through. I also hope you don’t have the failure that hundreds of women have had when their coils migrated. Good luck.

  12. carrie June 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    Women have still gotten pregnant with essure, even after being confirmed, some YEARS after being implanted
    I just had to have a hysterectomy because essure has caused me so many medical problems. You are one of the lucky ones who has tolerated essure very well. There is a group on Facebook, essure problems, its a support group for women who have had complications with the device. Go check them out before making such a permanent and possibly risky decision.

  13. Amber June 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    I understand and support your decision to get a permanent birth control, but essure has caused thousands of women issues and hundreds more have gotten pregnant while on it. Please feel free to join a group on Facebook called “essure problems”
    Any questionable symptoms or problems can probably be related to.

  14. Lisa June 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    essure isn’t as safe as they make it out to be. Mine have actually migrated, causing me years of pain,and many have become pregnant with the coils still in place.

  15. Samantha June 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Wish I knew myself better when I was younger, I’d have opted to do the same. Instead of regretting having kids.

    • Professa X Phd June 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

      Thanks for supporting the anti kid cause in my head. nothing worse than having something you don’t want and can’t get rid of.

  16. Through Gray Eyes June 10, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    I’m 39 and I haven’t been sterilized. We’ve gone back and forth about it about it for years – to do it or not to do it. I have other issues besides not have a maternal bone in my body that have played into my/our decision to never have children. One of the reasons my doctor and I haven’t totally decided to do sterilization (he’s all for it, I’m all for it but…) is because other than making sure I won’t get pregnant it’s not going to help regulate my periods.

    I wish there was a less invasive procedure that would just do away with my periods and sterilize me all at the same time. Doc says I’m years if not decades away from menopause. I would give my eye teeth to my girlfriends who want the years to have babies. But I’m over it all. I’m over the whole thing.

    • Originalcourtney June 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      There is such a procedure; it’s called Novasure. It burns/microwaves off the endometrial lining of the uterus making your uterus ”inhospitable environment for zygot implantation & gestation”. By removing the lining you’re removing what comes out during a period.

      See also: cryoblast ablation or any kind of ablation really. Current procedures but the result of the same. No babies. No periods. I got adiana implants and had novasure done 4 mo later. I’ve had a swipe of a period every few months since:)

      • Through Gray Eyes July 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

        Originalcourtney, thank you. I only just saw your response. I will definitely look into these. My period has become such a freaking hassle the older I’ve gotten.


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