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    "You Might Meet 'Mr. Right' And Change Your Mind" — This Woman's Conversation With An OB-GYN About Getting Her Tubes Tied Has Gone Viral For Showing The Sexist BS Women Have To Deal With

    "I don’t want to put my body through the risk of pregnancy, and I don’t want the lifelong commitment of being a mother."

    Olivia Downs, a 22-year-old neuroscience student from western Massachusetts, has known she doesn't want to give birth since she was 13 years old.

    "When I had gotten my first period around 13–14, I was so fed up with the whole experience that I had asked my mom what I could do to make it stop, as I knew she no longer got her period. She explained that after giving birth to me and having complications with her period, she had an endometrial ablation, a procedure in which they burn your uterine lining so that it can no longer thicken, and as a result you no longer get your period."

    "I asked her if I could get the procedure, and she explained that it meant you could no longer get pregnant and have kids. I thought about it for a second, and realized that I was content with the idea of not having children or ever having to give birth. Ever since that moment, my mind has been made up, and I’ve never wavered from that mindset. I decided that the minute I was old enough, I would pursue getting my tubes tied."

    In her pursuit of a tubal ligation (aka getting her tubes tied), Olivia visited an OB-GYN who not only told her no, but gave some pretty sexist reasoning. She re-created the conversation on TikTok, where it immediately went viral and gained over 4 million views.

    Olivia's re-creation of the conversation, in which she says "Hi Mrs. gynecologist, my name is Olivia, I never want children"

    In the video, Olivia acts out asking her gynecologist if she can have her tubes tied. To which her OB-GYN responds, "No, it's permanent."

    "You might meet 'Mr. Right' and change your mind," her OB-GYN says. Olivia then goes on to say, "No, it's not in my plan. It's not in my 5-year plan, it's not in my 10-year plan, my 50-year plan, I don't want that."

    Olivia's OB-GYN still insists that she might change her mind and tries to offer an IUD as an alternative. But Olivia (in the car, not in the gyno office) tosses the IUD brochure to the side and says, "No. No thank you."

    "The re-creation of my conversation with my OB-GYN was pretty much just a condensed version of how it actually went," Olivia told BuzzFeed. "She was really trying to push the copper IUD because it’s non-hormonal and lasts for up to 10 years, but that still wasn’t something I was interested in and had told her prior."

    Thousands of people commented on Olivia's video in support of her decision and also noted how her doctor's refusal to consider the procedure had to do with a hypothetical man who...doesn't even exist.

    One person said “I’ve always hated the “what if you meet a man” argument bc yes lets make life decisions on the chance a man comes into the picture

    Others shared their own struggles in finding a doctor willing to perform sterilization procedures, which proves that although Olivia's situation is frustrating, it's definitely not unique. People with female reproductive systems have long faced pushback from healthcare professionals when it comes to sterilization and their desire to live child-free lives. And with more women seeking sterilization now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, it's an issue that won't be going away any time soon.

    A commenter says they're 48 and has been trying to be sterilized since they were 20
    A commenter says their partner got their tubes tied when they were 21, and 12 years later doctors are still telling her she'll regret her decision
    A commenter saying it took them four years and seven doctors to find someone who would give her a hysterectomy

    Olivia told BuzzFeed that along with the positive responses, she's also received negative comments, mostly from men and older women who say she's "wasting [her] life" by not having children, which really highlights the misogyny of it all. "When men say they don’t want kids, no one says anything of the sort. It’s understood that they’ll just focus on their career and other things and the conversation ends there. Women are held to another standard, mostly by people with this outdated and misogynistic way of thinking, and it totally sucks."

    To get more information about how to advocate for yourself in situations like these, I reached out to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine and founder of MadameOvary.com.

    Dr. Minkin told BuzzFeed that she always thoroughly discusses the procedure with her patients to start, as her main concern is making sure that patients have a full understanding of the procedure itself and the irreversible aspect of this particular procedure. However, if said patients have made it clear that they've thought about the decision and can confidently say they do not want to have children, Dr. Minkin has no issue performing sterilizations. Dr. Minkin continued, telling BuzzFeed, "She wants it done, it's her body. Let her decide what she's gonna do."

    "I think it's crucial for women to be in sync with their gynecologist," Dr. Minkin said. "You want to have somebody who you feel comfortable with taking care of you, and if you don't have somebody you feel comfortable with, [it's best to] find yourself another provider. You really want somebody that you feel comfortable talking with, and discussing things with, and getting advice from."

    With that in mind, Dr. Minkin also pointed out the responsibility of physicians to point their patients in the right direction, even if they themselves don't feel comfortable performing sterilization procedures. "They have the obligation to introduce you to someone else."

    She also suggested that patients ask their physician for these resources upfront: "[The patient] who wants the tubal ligation can say to the provider, 'listen, I understand your concerns. Is there somebody else in your group who you think would be an appropriate person to talk to, or do you have any other suggestions for someone to talk to?"

    For Olivia's part, she still plans on pursuing a tubal ligation and thinks that "doctors just need to be more considerate of the different types of requests, be respectful of women’s decisions regarding their bodies, keep their own views and biases out of their decision making, and practice in a way that is safe and beneficial to the patient."

    When asked if she had any advice for someone who may be going through a similar situation, she responded, "I would say just keep your head up and look for a different doctor who will take the time to listen! It sucks that we have to 'doctor shop' and jump from office to office looking for someone who will listen, but there are providers out there who will take you seriously."

    She also shouted out Dr. Franziska V. Haydanek, an OB-GYN who's very popular on TikTok and recently crafted this crowdsourced list of providers across the US who are willing to perform sterilization procedures. "I’ve made appointments with several of the physicians on the list that I’m waiting to go to, so fingers crossed!"

    You can follow Olivia on TikTok to keep up with her sterilization journey.