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Holly Brockwell, a
30-year-old website editor from London, is certain she never wants children.
She doesn't trust condoms and has found hormonal contraceptives cause
5 years ago the then 25-years-old, asked her General Practitioner to refer her for sterilization but she was
refused. Each year since she returned for permission to protect herself from
unwanted pregnancies and each year she has been turned away.
"The response is always:
'You're too young to take such a drastic decision,' ' she told Daily Mail.
Each time she says she
has been asked if she is in a relationship. When she informs the doctor that
she is not, they question her motives.
"They don't understand
that the right man for me doesn't want kids," explained Holly. "I've heard of
men granted vasectomies in their 20s with minimal fuss - yet the attitude is
women must want babies, while men can easily say they don't."
While female sterilization
is available, there is concern that availability is waning. Holly has finally
been given the go-ahead but has found there are no surgeons to do the operation
at the family planning clinic she was referred to.
One reason for
withdrawal of services is fear of litigation, says Peter Scott, a consultant gynecologist
at Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust.
"There is no
contraception that works in 100 per cent of cases, yet women expect sterilization
to be completely effective," Scott remarked.
Practioners play a pivotal role in whether or not women can access hospital
is to ensure patients understand the procedure is permanent, effectively irreversible
and comes with risk," said Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, a GP and spokesperson for
the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Doctors take due diligence to warn women about the effects of sterilization during counseling sessions. Once
sterilized, women who no longer take the pill may experience heavy bleeding and pain as they
their normal menstrual cycle. According to Daily Mail, research has proven single women under 30 are
more likely to regret being sterilized, and reversal of female sterilization is not readily available.