A TikTok user has seemingly re-sparked a controversial and never-ending debate after she recounted her experience with a gynaecologist who refused her requested sterilisation. The 22-year-old took to the platform to sarcastically and humorously recreate the interaction with the medical professional. In it, the TikToker—whose name is Olivia—highlighted how the doctor refused to consider her “getting her tubes tied” which is medically known as a tubal ligation, a permanent method of birth control. The now-viral video has amassed an onslaught of backlash from women calling out the sexist double standards they face in wanting to be childfree.
The user played out the scene by stating: “Hi, Mrs Gynaecologist! My name is Olivia. I never want children. I’ve had this made up in my mind since I was old enough to think of the concept. Can I please have my tubes tied?”
In the video, which has been watched over 1.8 million times, she continued by recounting the gynaecologist’s response: “No. It’s permanent.” To which Olivia replied, “Yeah, I know! That’s why I asked. I’d like that option.” The doctor then went on to suggest that once the young woman meets “Mr. Right” in future she’d change her mind—something which the 22-year-old denies.
She reassured the medical professional that children are not a part of her future at all. “No. It’s not my plan. It’s not in my five year plan, it’s not in my ten year plan, my fifty year plan. I don’t want that,” she said. Despite this choice, the gynaecologist doubled down and refused the treatment, reiterating the procedure’s permanence by stating, “So here’s a brochure for an IUD.”
Holding up the leaflet she received, Olivia showcased her distaste for the method—recounting the doctor’s explanation: “It has the same efficacy rate. We put it in your uterus and you bleed and cramp for three months.” To which the TikTok user retaliated, “No. No thank you.”
The interaction between the two is a visible and ever-consistent experience that occurs for women who do not wish to have children. Despite the growing rates of childless adults—the Pew Research Center found that some 44 per cent of non-parents aged 18 to 49 stated it was unlikely that they would have children in the future—cisgender women still face archaic battles in reasoning with their medical providers to ‘grant’ sterilisation.
“How do you just leave after this?? I can’t imagine a doctor denying my request just because they said so??? It hurts my brain, please keep pushing it!” commented one user in response to the footage. Another said, “I’ve always hated the “what if you meet a man” argument [because]… yes… let’s make life decisions on the chance a man comes into the picture.” A third responded: “Mr. Right is someone who also doesn’t want kids, how hard is that to understand?”
“I would much rather people be honest with themselves and say they just don’t want kids instead of raising a child they never wanted and resenting them,” a fourth wrote. Meanwhile, others pointed out the irony of the ‘permanent’ procedure when “kids are also permanent.” The operation may be reversed but there is no guarantee that it will make the individual fertile again. The success is determined by the method of the first sterilisation method.
Olivia followed up in a second clip: “I just kind of went in for a check up and asked because, like, you know, I just don’t want kids!” Adding that she would still be refusing an IUD or any other hormonal treatment plan, she said, “On a serious note, I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get there. Whatever boo I end up with, I guess he’ll just have to get a vasectomy. Apparently you can get one with the snap of a finger because they’re reversible.”