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At the Crossroads

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I paid a visit to my gynecologist recently to discuss birth-control options. I was looking for something a little less hormonal (than the pill) and a lot more long-term. I'd decided that one child was all I wanted, and I had that one eleven years ago. It was time for a change.

I paid a visit to my gynecologist recently to discuss birth-control options. I was looking for something a little less hormonal (than the pill) and a lot more long-term. I'd decided that one child was all I wanted, and I had that one eleven years ago. It was time for a change.

It seems like there's a fair bit of choice in the world of birth control, until you start the process of elimination. There are condoms (not my choice for a lifetime), the patch (too much like what I'm trying to get away from), and the good old IUD (one of the highest-regarded methods of long-term birth control, but the "ick factor" is just too much for me).

It was looking like my best option would be sterilization by tubal ligation (I had guessed that before I even made the appointment). My doctor and I discussed my surgical history. In addition to an appendectomy in my youth, I've also had a C-section, and a couple of years ago, my right ovary had a really nasty tumour, and the whole thing had to be removed. My abdomen is starting to look like a roadmap of medical intervention. So what's one more operation?

It seems strange that, despite my noble intentions, a lot of my fertility and sexual health issues have come down to the scalpel. It's been hard for me to turn my body over to doctors in times when I've most desperately wanted to be in control of my own biology (and my privacy). Yet here I was actually considering volunteering to have another procedure
performed.

While I've booked the surgery, it feels strange knowing that I'll be getting my tubes tied (or in my case a tube, since I'm already down an ovary). Even though I don't want to have any more children, I still value my ability to do so.

I guess I'm at one of those crossroads in a woman's life; the ones marked by the beginning and end of our fertility, and all the choices in between. For every choice we make, we leave another behind. For every procedure we undergo (by choice or by chance), we must have trust in doctors that we may never have met, in the universe to take care of us, and in ourselves that we're doing the right thing.

Every year it gets easier to trust myself and have faith in my choices. I wish I had to choose less hospital stays, but I know I'm lucky compared to many women out there.

A part of my life is going to end, but a new part will begin. I wish for all women at their own crossroads that their new beginnings may be healthy, happy, and full of promise.

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