Tuesday 20 February 2018

Woman wins four-year-long battle with NHS to be sterilised at age 30

Holly Brockwell has won her battle with the NHS
Holly Brockwell has won her battle with the NHS
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

A British woman has won a four-year-long battle with the NHS to be sterilised after she decided she did not want to have children in the future.

Holly Brockwell (30) has been placed on the list for surgery to seal off her fallopian tubes, four years after she first brought up the idea to her GP.

In an article published on The Telegraph, Holly revealed that she is relieved to have finally been taken seriously by the medical system, who refused to allow her to undergo surgery to prevent her from falling pregnant in the future.

“As a woman who doesn’t want kids – at all, ever – I’ve been asking to get my tubes tied since the age of 26. Every year for the last four years my GP has refused my decision. I couldn't even get a referral. The response was always: ‘You’re far too young to take such a drastic decision,” she said.

“But now I've been put on the list for surgery and will finally be able to be sterilised later this year.”

“It's something I've wanted for years, but that doesn't mean it was an easy decision to make. It’s one I've researched, considered, weighed-up and defended, over and over again.”

Holly, who is a journalist, decided years ago that she didn’t want a family in the future but revealed that medical professionals and people in her circle refused to take her seriously.

“They've told me countless times that I'll end up changing my mind. That might seem reasonable, but ask yourself if they’d say the same to a 26-year-old woman who decided to have a child. Both choices are permanent, so why do GPs think I’ll change my mind about becoming a mum, but someone who has a child won’t?

“Can you imagine a woman in their late twenties having to go to a doctor over and over again to beg permission to have a baby? That’s what I’ve had to go through to get sterilised.”

Holly admitted that she is thrilled to have finally been scheduled for surgery as she is keen to stop taking birth control, which makes her ill.

“I’’ve tried every form of the Pill and currently take one with a dose of hormones so high it makes me vomit, and puts me at increased risk of blood clots.

“Now that the NHS has finally agreed to sterilise me, I can relax. I don’t have to keep taking pills that make me sick or worrying about replacing a patch or coil. I don’t feel sad or regretful, or worried that I’ve made the wrong choice. In fact, when the consultant signed the form, I felt elated – something I'd never get from a positive pregnancy test,” she said.

The activist revealed that women who don’t want children should be taken more seriously and expressed her disgust that it took so long to schedule her surgery.

“Yes, sterilisation is drastic: a big, irreversible, serious decision. But so is having a child. And I'd like to see the day when both choices are respected equally.”

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