In any other situation, I probably wouldn't share this experience. I'd talk about it with my close friends, my husband, my family, but not be as open about it as I've managed to be in the last week. But I feel like if I cannot lay out my experience in full disclosure, I'm not doing everything I can to push toward true informed consent prior to tubal ligation.
I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum around a week ago. If you haven't heard this term before, the basics of it are that an egg was fertilized, made it into the proper place (uterus) by some miracle and implanted, but failed to develop past this. There was a gestational sac measuring roughly 7 weeks, low hCG hormone but no signs of life. They cannot tell me if this will happen again or not. I was originally told the failure rate was 2-10 women out of 1000. After the procedure, I am told 1 in 300. Then later, I am told its even higher for women like myself who had it during a c-section. And while being diagnosed with this blighted ovum I am told the failure rates vary from study to study, and that it "isn't as rare as I'd think". She scheduled a second ultrasound to either a.) confirm diagnosis or b.) ensure my body has cleared things out all the way on its own. Without much detail I will say it'll be option b tomorrow.
So here I am. I can now safely say that tubal ligation has failed me in just about every way it can so far, only one year out. Now my care provider fears a future ectopic, and I can't say this doesn't concern me. We were both shocked that we weren't dealing with that this time. Neither of us were optimistic upon my arrival. I am thankful. It could have been worse.
I am asked several questions lately and feel it easiest to address them here.
Why doesn't my doctor offer to put me on birth control pills to attempt to relieve certain symptoms or prevent another event like this? Part of why I (and numerous other women) had this procedure done is because medically, its contraindicated to have me on these pills. I'm a high risk for blood clot and stroke based on my history. So, it is because she's a good doctor that this option isn't offered to me.
Why will they not offer a hysterectomy? There's a few reasons here. The main one being that it wouldn't fix the most pressing issue, which is the daily ovarian pain. Unless they removed the ovaries as well, which isn't optimal. Another large reason, to doctors and myself, is my age. I'm not even 25 yet. And my own reasoning is I simply don't want that. Why is hysterectomy now viewed as some 100% normal and natural event in the life of women? It's a big choice. Typically done as a matter of saving their life. I've been checked, its not cancer, its not endometriosis, my uterus isn't the issue and I don't feel as if throwing my body into another whirlwind of hormonal imbalances is the solution to my specific set of issues. This is NOT to say it isn't a helpful solution for some women dealing with PTLS. But it is so dependent on what your symptoms are.
Still counting down until surgery. Still plugging away to show the ugly side of our "neat and tidy" sterilizations. Please continue submitting your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org . I have several in the queue at the moment that I will work on posting over the next week or so.