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Woman shares doctor's sexist response to her asking to have her tubes tied

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

Woman shares doctor's sexist response to her asking to have her tubes tied

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@lvdwns

A woman has shared the sexist response she got from her doctor when she asked about getting her tubes tied.

Olivia Downs, 22, claims that she's known since she was a young teen that she doesn't want children, but has found it almost impossible to get approval for tubal ligation.

When she visited a doctor in the hopes of starting the process, she was turned down - and the reasoning behind it was shockingly sexist. Watch Olivia's recreation of the conversation here:

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After reenacting the conversation she had with her doctor and posting it to TikTok, Olivia went viral, racking up over four million views.

Olivia says that, among the responses she got, her gynaecologist told her: "No, it's permanent", "You might meet Mr Right and change your mind", and "Here's a brochure for an IUD".

As horrified as viewers were to hear about Olivia's experience, there were plenty of users who were able to relate to her situation.

"Keep fighting. I spent a decade trying to get mine done. You will find the right doctor. It’s just hell getting there," one follower told her.

"My partner got their tubes tied at 21, and 12 years later, doctors are still telling her she’ll regret her decision. Exhausting", commented a second.

"There is nothing more infuriating than everyone telling me I’ll change my mind whenever I’m older. Spoiler alert - never changed my mind", added a third.

In a follow-up video, Olivia added that her gynaecologist didn't even engage in a conversation with her about the possibility of tubal litigation.

"She didn't ask why, she didn't bother to explain the procedure to me, like the ins and outs, she was just like, no," she complained.

In the US, a growing number of women have been looking into more permanent forms of contraception, especially following the reversal of Roe v Wade.

Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that "respect for an individual woman's reproductive autonomy should be the primary concern", many women across the US will be refused the procedure.

The age of consent for sterilisation is 18 in the US, but many women in similar positions to Olivia have complained of physicians refusing to perform the procedure if they feel a patient is too young, or might come to regret the decision in the future.

Meanwhile, in the UK, patients are likely to face similar obstacles.

According to the NHS, "almost any woman can be sterilised", however "your GP can refuse to carry out the procedure or refuse to refer you for it if they do not believe it's in your best interests."

The website also states: "Sterilisation reversal is not usually available on the NHS. You may be more likely to be accepted for the operation if you’re over 30 and have had children."

Topics: Health, TikTok

Ali Condon
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