In the past year, sterilization has been a hot topic of conversation for those who wish to be childfree. Particularly after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which led to an uptick in sterilization requests amongst OB-GYNs across the country and an increase in search traffic for the procedures on Planned Parenthood, as reported by the LA Times.
And as we've previously reported, it's not uncommon for people with uteruses to get turned away from sterilization procedures. Oftentimes, people seeking permanent birth control options are faced with rejection due to reasons such as age and a constant "well, you might regret it later" sentiment.
And such was the case for a TikToker who recently shared her experience getting rejected from tubal ligation surgery, which caught the attention of Fran Haydanek, an OB-GYN from Rochester, New York. Fran stitched their TikTok with a new video and said, "I'll do it," in response to their search for a willing doctor, and proceeded to provide some solutions.
Dr. Fran explained, "A year ago we were having a lot of discussions about reproductive freedoms. I came to realize that so many of our patients out there are not getting the sterilizations they so desire for a whole lot of not really good reasons," which led her to take action.
After hearing so many stories from people not getting the sterilizations they wanted, Dr. Fran created the "TikTok Tubal List," which is a resource of over 1,500 gynecologists who will perform tubal ligation surgeries on patients ages 21+, no matter their marital status or number of children.
"The list started when the Roe v. Wade decision was leaked. A private Facebook group of 6,000 OB-GYN Moms were discussing it, and we started a list of all the doctors who were willing to perform tubal ligations on young, nulliparous woman," Dr. Fran told BuzzFeed. "I knew a public resource would be more helpful, so I created a Google form for these doctors to submit themselves to, and that's how we found our first 150 gynecologists."
The list has doctors from every single state represented, organized by city. The resource features submissions from doctors themselves and by patients who received help from the doctor they submitted. Prospective patients can click the doctor's name to reach their contact information and schedule an appointment. The list is growing and taking submissions for Canada, Europe, and Australia as well.
"I was already performing these operations for my patients, so I wasn't even aware that so many struggled to have their OB-GYNs do the same for them," Dr. Fran admitted. "Since creating the list, I've received hundreds of DMs, comments, and emails thanking me for creating a resource for them to find a doctor that respects their bodily autonomy, and that they had received their desired tubal ligation or sterilization."
For those looking into tubal ligation, Dr. Fran recommends patients make an appointment with their OB-GYN to specifically discuss tubal ligation. In a video explaining how to get a tubal ligation, Dr. Fran said, "Let your physician know that you've thought about this and you are certain that you do not want any or anymore children, and that you would really like a tubal ligation."
While at the appointment for a tubal ligation, Dr. Fran told BuzzFeed, "Your OB-GYN may ask some questions to get an understanding of your motivations behind pursuing this surgery. They will discuss the risks and the alternative options with you. Depending on your insurance, you may have to sign a 'tubal consent' form — this is a requirement of Medicaid especially."
"Your doctor would not be doing their job if they did not explain to you all the other options, but ultimately, it's your decision if you want your tubes completely removed and you don't want other forms of birth control," Dr. Fran explained in her TikTok video. "If your doctor is still hesitant, you can ask them to refer you to a doctor who will be more likely to perform the surgery for you," Dr. Fran explained, or you can simply consult Dr. Fran's TikTok Tubal List.
If you're looking for more childfree or reproductive support, you can follow Dr. Fran on TikTok and Instagram. You can also join the r/childfree subreddit for discussion topics and links of interest for childfree individuals, including another list of childfree-friendly doctors.