‘Seven doctors refused to sterilise me at 24 – it was traumatising’March 20, 2022
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Abby Ramsay went viral on TikTok earlier on in the year for sharing that she got sterilised at the age of 24 – meaning she could never get pregnant.
The actress and model from Los Angeles, US, decided to take the drastic step after a bout of irregular periods and bad side effects from the birth control pill which left her throwing up and in A&E with dehydration.
This made Abby realise that she did not want to ever deal with being pregnant so started to look around for doctors to perform the life-changing procedure from the age of 18.
But, despite her wishes to get the sterilisation procedure done in her teens, she was in for a ‘traumatic’ journey to achieve full autonomy over her body.
Abby spent years going through seven different doctors in different states, with one obstetrician gynaecologist telling her she was too “pretty to be depressed” and should just take birth control instead of getting sterilised.
Fast-forward seven years, now at the age of 25, Abby has started to heal from the surgery that burnt off and sealed her fallopian tubes.
Although physically healed, the actress has described the process of trying to get a doctor to listen to her as "traumatising.”
In an exclusive chat with the Daily Star, Abby has revealed the struggle she went through to get a doctor to listen to her – and is now in a state of “relief” knowing that she will never conceive.
She explained: “The first doctor I went to in California saw that I was on depression and anxiety medication, told me I was too pretty to be depressed and had a great life, told me to do positive affirmation exercises in the mirror and sent me home with birth control pills.
“After that, I put together a bunch of information for the next doctor full of my family medical history and reasoning for my decision since I know I get flustered in the office, and she flat out refused to look at it.
“She basically said IUD or nothing because she wouldn’t do surgery if I didn’t absolutely need it.
“I brought up my family history of ovarian cancer and how the procedure I was looking at would reduce the risk of me getting it, and she recommended genetic testing, gave me a pamphlet, and left.
“I cried so much after that one.”
But, the agonising ordeal of trying to get a doctor to listen to her did not stop there.
She said: “I have seen about seven doctors in five different facilities that I distinctly remember, and all were women.
“Three of them in Pennsylvania, and four in California. The first time I was 18, and went to the practitioners my mother had used.
“They were the ones I tried birth control pills and the nuva ring with. I saw two different doctors with them at least.
“The last one I went to in Pennsylvania actually got irritated with me and refused to talk to me about my concerns because I told her that the temporary birth control she was trying to suggest was not an option for me.
“That was rough.”
Despite enduring years of setbacks, Abby at last found a doctor who was willing to listen to her needs and wishes to have full autonomy over her body.
She added: “Finally, I met the doctor that initially approved the procedure on me.
“She listened to me for about five minutes and then recommended the surgery that I ended up getting. She referred me to her co-worker in the same centre, and she was the one who did my procedure.
“Advocating for yourself can be a long, hard, traumatising process.
“Trust me, I cried so much but if you know where to look, and can find someone who will listen to you, I promise it is not impossible.
The actress is now enjoying life with her partner Kurt, who is fully supportive of Abby’s decision.
Abby now feels “relief” after finally getting the procedure she fought so hard to get done.
She explained: “I feel like once I heal up I can really start to experience life with one less thing to worry about. Ideally the ablation will lessen, if not stop my periods and I won’t have to worry when I’m late anymore – a common thing as I had irregular periods my whole life.
“Hopefully I’ll be saving money on period products, pregnancy tests, and laundry, and not have to clean blood out of all my clothes.
“It’s like there is a weight off of my shoulders, and now I have doctors who I know will listen to me if I have any other health concerns.
“They were also able to see that I may have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which in 6 years of going to other OBGYNs (obstetrician gynaecologists), none of them considered, even when I brought it up.
“They all just shoved more hormonal birth control at me that my body could not handle.
“I’m not afraid of going to the OBGYN anymore – maybe a little, but at least I know they will listen to me and work with me."
Although understanding the enormity of her choice, Abby has firmly stuck by her decision.
She added: “Yeah, getting sterilised is a big decision, but so is having a kid. And I’d much rather regret not having a kid than regret having one.
“At least that way I’m the only one who is suffering for it.”
You can follow Abby on TikTok here.
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