It’s impossible to regret a decision when information was withheld from you and you were not given the information in order to base your decision. There is a word for this, but the word is not “regret”.
Susan Bucher, BSN Founder CPTwomen
The 3 Types of Sterilization “Regret”
by Susan Bucher, BSN
Female sterilization, tubal ligation, and medical devices and treatments which affect the fallopian tubes for the purpose of birth control are conceived to be permanent non-reversible forms of birth control. Tubal ligation (TL), sometimes called tubal sterilization, female sterilization or “tying the tubes”, is a surgical procedure in which a physician seals shut a woman’s fallopian tubes. This is done surgically using coagulation (burning the tubes). Female sterilization is also done by using a medical products such as a clips (Hulka or Filshie Clip), rings (bands), or an Ova Bloc, Adiana, or Essure type products to seal shut or block (obstruct) the fallopian tube. Other methods of sterilization includes bilateral salpingectomy (removal of both fallopian tubes) and using chemicals such as Atabrine or Mepacrine (also called quinacrine) which are placed into the uterus in pellet form then dissolve and scar the fallopian tubes causing the tubes to seal shut.
All forms of female sterilization can cause negative health outcomes collectively known as "Post Sterilization Syndrome" (PSS) aka "Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome" (PTS) or (PTLS). For example, traditional tubal ligation can cause adenomyosis that manifests as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) which may require surgical remedies such as ablation, dilation and curettage (D&C), or complete hysterectomies to correct excessive bleeding. Tubal ligation can also affect the blood supply to the ovaries causing anovulation (ovaries failing to normally function or to ovulate), premature ovarian failure (POF), or sudden premature (surgical) menopause. If a medical device is used it could also create an “implant syndrome” which adds insult to injury. Clips, Ovabloc, and Essure type products are know to dislodge and migrate causing pain, bleeding, and other horrifying outcomes. Furthermore, these products are made with materials which can be toxic and/or cancerous. The point here is that all forms of female sterilization have known and potential negative side effects which women need to be informed of prior to consenting to sterilization.
One side effect that women are universally informed of as being a possible risk of female sterilization is that of “regret”. This side effect is psychological in nature. Regret is commonly referred to by the medical community to mean later wishing you could have more children. Many women suffer from regret because they later do desire to have more children.
Regret could also mean regretting how undergoing the sterilization has changed ones physical (and mental) health. I have often hear women state, “I regret having had the tubal because of what it did to my...health…libido...etc…” Then in the next breath they state, “I wish I had know this information before my sterilization”. What these women don’t understand is calling this “regret” is a misnomer. The term regret infers self-accusation, self-condemnation, and the blaming of oneself. It’s impossible to regret a decision when information was intently withheld from you and you were not given the information in order to base your decision. There is a word for this, but the word is not “regret”.
The truth is because of an abuse of professional/corporate power and medical/corporate malfeasance (wrongdoing) these women in fact became victims of fraud and abuse. The abuse then escalates and occurs on many levels but all starts with the same action which is that of information being withheld. When it is learned and understood that information is withheld about negative physical and hormonal side effects known by the medical community (and the manufactures of products/drugs) as post sterilization syndrome (PPS) and implant syndrome, it becomes evident and clear that consent is given under false pretenses. Withholding information constitutes forced (fraudulent) consent.
Women in the USA today when learning that information was withheld from them do not immediately equate this to having been a victim of physical assault and abuse nor completely understand that they were forcibly sterilized. This might be because they were not carried away forcibly to the operating table kicking and screaming. Women in the US are lead to the operating table with a blindfold on.
The statement, “I regret my decision to undergo sterilization because of what it did to my health, libido…” might be better stated as, “I regret having trusted my doctor,…the product,… the FDA….etc…”
The third type of regret is the regret one has for not doing more to change the situation for future generations. The future regret of not speaking out, of not reporting what occurred or what is occurring, for not working to change the laws, etc…. The regret of not doing anything to end the cycle of abuse.