Retiring My Ovaries

Manic Mommy discusses the option of "retiring" her ovaries. It turns out insurance covers more for the tubal than the vasectomy procedures.

Humor Me

Retiring My Ovaries

It’s me or your nuts on the chopping block

-Stephanie Elliot,

a woman talking to her doctorI’ve done some crazy things in my almost four decades, including a night where I fooled around with three guys (separately – I’m NOT THAT CRAZY) and later gave the last guy my underwear. I’ve had sex on the rooftop of a friend’s house (with my husband, so it wasn’t THAT crazy), but we went back into the party and told everyone what we had just done. I used to drink beer bongs from the ground off third-story balconies while guys who tried it would vomit. And to this day, I don’t understand why I entered a wet T-shirt contest in Daytona over Spring Break my sophomore year in college. OK, I think I just answered that question. Daytona + Spring Break during college = STUPIDITY!

But now, approaching 40, I’m ready to do something totally off the wall.

I’m going to retire my ovaries.

They are past their prime. I’m past my motherhood prime. I imagine they are shriveled raisins up in there now, just waiting it out, asking for some relief already.

I’ve had three children, and I know I’m done. The past six years, they’ve been on hold – a little T-shaped metal thing, aka an IUD, inserted inside of my body keeping them at bay, probably getting all rusty, the IUD, AND the ovaries! But now, I’m ready to make it permanent. I’m ready to get Essure, which is kind of like a tubal ligation, but less invasive.

It’s a simple, out-patient procedure where the fallopian tubes are blocked off by a spring-like micro insert that will remain in the uterus. Scar tissue grows around this insert within three months (during that time I must either choose abstinence or another form of birth control) until the doctor can recheck to make sure the barrier has been formed.

For me, I don’t see any downside to having this procedure done. I’m certain I’m not in the mood to be pregnant ever again. It’s more than 99.5 percent effective, the surgery is out-patient, and my insurance covers it 100 percent. Another plus is that I’ve got a better excuse than the old headache line that my husband has been enduring: “Honey, we shouldn’t REALLY have sex until we’re certain the Essure procedure has been tested!” (Of course, I jest!)

But why the woman and not the man go through this? We’re more reliable? We’re more likely to make the doctor calls and the insurance calls to get the ball(s) rolling? And we certainly don’t have to go back every month for six months to bring in a sample to see if our little guys are still doing the backstroke.

A few years ago, a close friend of mine chose to get her tubes tied rather than have her husband go through a vasectomy. When we all mocked her for doing this, her explanation made perfect sense to us. She said she had done the research and found insurance covered more for the tubal than the vasectomy. But what was the final decision maker to spare her husband from getting the Big V? “Why should he get to lie on the couch watching TV for a whole weekend with a bag of frozen peas on his nuts when it could be me lying there after getting my tubes tied?”

Brilliant woman, and I’m proud to call her a friend.

So, now it’s time for us to make our decision.

Yes, I could have my husband put his nuggets on the chopping block, because after what I went through by giving him three children within four years, it’s certainly his turn for some “payback pain,” but he endures enough pain every month when he opens the credit card bill. And I’m OK with making the permanence part of my life now that I’m on the verge of 40.

And really, I’ve heard the stories of the smell of burning testicles, and the imagery of a knife slicing into a part of his parts that I find kind of nice freaks me out a little bit.

There, I admitted it. I don’t want a knife near my hubby’s whamma-lamma-ding-dong!

So, I’m going to own my fertility. Or end it. And I’m not sad about it. I’ve got a beautiful family, I’ve done my part to help populate the world, and I think I’ve done so fairly and adequately. I know I’m at the age now where I can undeniably, happily, adamantly, positively say:

“I’m done having children. My family is complete.”

And if my husband wants more kids later … well, we all know his next wife will be graduating from high school soon.

Stephanie Elliot is an editor for Betty, and she also answers your parenting questions at Just Another Manic Mommy. Visit her at or

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0 thoughts on “Retiring My Ovaries

  1. I had this exact conversation yesterday with my doctor. I’m doing the whole tubes tied thing though bc I want it to be immediate. I’d be just about my luck that I’d get pregnant at age 43 during the 3 months it takes to build up the scar tissue in your tubes. So excited!

  2. Stephanie — you are hysterical! This is so funny (and who knew you were so wild? Love it!) But seriously — thanks for educating us about this new procedure—I’d never heard of it. Glad it’s less invasive and outpatient…great article.

  3. Hi Stephanie…

    Somehow I stumbled upon your website!

    Tubal Removal…
    Been there, done that and BEFORE you do it…

    It sounds like a simple enough decision…and for me it was I have stage 4 endometriosis which was creating a scenario that my tubes could literally explode…my life or my fertility (never had the chance to have 1 child)…I chose my life.

    There are side effects and you need to know them..
    ANY surgery in your abdomen especially dealing with your reproductive tract can create scar tissue and adhesions which are incredibly painful in their own right…but if they decide to wrap around your will experience pain worse than any child birth~according to my friends who have had children and witnessed what I experience as part of my life 24/7.
    Once scar tissue and adhesions occur there is NO CURE.

    My husband just chimed in as I was typing this and said..if I could talk to her husband I would tell him to snip,snip just to ensure that you never would walk in my shoes…

    Just something for you to think about…

  4. I had this procedure done in June of 2008. Prior to that, I had and Implanon implant in my left arm. Because of my back and hip problems, it is a bad idea for my to be pregnant. I had wanted a tubal, but after hearing about essure I opted for it instead. There is no cutting. You spend a morning in an outpatient surgical clinic. I opted to be knocked out as the procedure was a bit uncomfortable. But, after I woke up there was no reason why I couldn’t go back to work. I had no bleeding and only mild cramping.

    Three months later, I underwent an HSG to determine if the scarring was complete. Here’s the only snag I ran in to. The doctor billed this under the wrong code as this test is normally done to to check for fertility problems, not to confirm infertility. I had to fight to get the billing code changed so my insurance would cover it.

    Your doctor will give you a wallet card stating that you’ve had this done. If you have any abdominal xrays or MRIs done, you want to make sure that you tell the radiologist as it can leave some shadows on the film.

    Beyond that, I am synthetic hormone free and I feel great. It’s the best decision I have made for my body in a long time.

  5. Essure is such a quick and easy procedure, it is barely like surgery at all. Hopefully people will start to realise that vasectomy and Essure are about equal in the pain and inconvenience scale.

    Unfortunately, all my friends making that choice currently have insurance that will cover all or most of a vasectomy or tubal liagation and little or none of Essure. But column on the politics and fiscal policies behind assymetric coverage of birth control!

    Anyway, highly recommend Essure. Had it done childless at 33 and could not be happier with my decision :)

  6. Thanks for all the comments/feedbacks on this ladies! I did have it done two weeks ago. Where2next, I didn’t read this till now, and I hope I don’t have the problems you experienced and am sorry you did have problems. I wonder if it was because of your existing endometriosis? Anyway, I will get the HSG dye test in a couple of months and then be free as a bird. BTW, I asked my doctor if I could keep my IUD! He let me!

  7. Do you mean the doctor let you keep the IUD in place for the 3 months until Essure was effective? Or do you mean he let you keep it, like in a jar of formaldehyde as a souvenir/trophy?

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