Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Woman, 30, gets sterilised on the NHS following four-year battle

HiRes.jpg

A 30-year-old woman has been sterilised on the NHS, following a four-year battle.

Holly Brockwell was initially refused the procedure by doctors, aged 26, told she was too young to even consider it and should wait a few years.

Doctors suggested that her boyfriend – now aged 24 – should get a vasectomy instead.

Finally referred for treatment last year, Brockwell underwent the operation this weekend.

Brockwell was intent on getting her tubes tied from a young age, having been told by her mother that she never wanted children, but her mother was persuaded to change her mind by her first and second husbands, and was then left to care for them alone.



Keen to avoid ever being persuaded to change her mind, Brockwell has always been firm in her decision.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday following the treatment, Brockwell said she was feeling ‘euphoric’ to know for certain that she will never have children, and will no longer need to keep “an emergency pregnancy test in [her] desk drawer.”

“It was a simple procedure at St Thomas’ Hospital in Central London,” she writes.

“Doctors made an incision by my belly button, and put a metal clip on each of the fallopian tubes. I was in and out of surgery in less than an hour, and went home the same day, feeling nauseous but delighted.”

holly brockwell

Holly Brockwell

But not everyone was delighted with Brockwell’s decision. The online editor was subjected to an onslaught of abuse when she announced that she wanted to be sterilised, from people saying she would regret it, to people being abusive and misogynistic.

“I’ve suffered horrendous attacks on my character, looks, career, even my partner. I’ve been called names that I can’t repeat in a family newspaper, and all because I don’t want to become a mother,” she writes.

Many people questioned why Brockwell wouldn’t simply take other forms of contraception, but the 30-year-old suffered on the pill, and has considered all other types. Additionally, staunch in her decision not to have children, she believes it simply makes more sense this way:

“I don’t really understand the abuse I’ve had for what seems to me to be a sensible decision. I don’t want a baby, so I’m making sure I don’t get pregnant.”

There has been a lot of talk recently about women deciding to go child-free, abandoning the word child ‘less’.



Kim Cattrall opened up about her own decision not to have children, saying she abhorred the word childless: “It sounds like you’re less because you haven’t had a child”, and celebrities including Jennifer Anniston, Dolly Parton and Cameron Diaz have all spoken out about society’s pressure on women to be mothers.

Journalist Caroline Criado-Perez wrote a powerful Ask a Feminist on the subject, saying “There is still something deeply taboo about a woman announcing that she doesn’t want to procreate.”

“No one asks mothers why they do want a child. Wanting – or not wanting – children is instinctive: you just know, and I just know that I don’t want them,” says Brockwell. 

Images: iStock, Rex Features

Related

sterilisation.jpg

Meet the 29-year-old who's decided to get sterilised

Samantha Jones Sex And The City 2.jpg

Meet three women happy to be child-free by choice

hero.jpg

Child free Hollywood women speak out about not having kids

i-dont-know-how-she-does-it.jpg

Caroline Criado-Perez on the right to be child-free

rexfeatures_3687052af.jpg

Kim Cattrall hits out at offensive term for women

break up.jpg

Friends with your ex? Apparently you’re a psychopath

high heels office sent home.jpg

Woman is sent home from work for not wearing high heels

flats cannes.jpg

Susan Sarandon wearing flats on the red carpet is a big win for women

claire-underwood-brunette-hair-burgundy-dress.jpg

“Heels have nothing to do with power in the workplace”

Comments

More

Helen Mirren on lacking confidence and self-esteem

“I thought I looked stupid when I smiled”

by Amy Swales
24 Feb 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Reese Witherspoon's Southern roots to Beyoncé's mother-daughter selfie

by Nicola Colyer
24 Feb 2017

Why Emma Thompson won’t do Love Actually 2 without Alan Rickman

“There isn’t much comic relief in the loss of our dear friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Caitlyn Jenner calls out Trump for failing to protect trans rights

“This is a disaster. You can still fix it.”

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

Oprah Winfrey nails the problem with the term “childless woman”

Winfrey is no less a mother for not having given birth or changed nappies

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Martine McCutcheon reveals what’s next for Natalie in Love Actually 2

So… are they still together in the sequel?

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Feb 2017

Louis Theroux targets Donald Trump in new documentary

Because he’s the hero we deserve

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Feb 2017

Katy Perry takes down Theresa May and Donald Trump at the Brits 2017

Her politically charged performance did not go unnoticed

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Feb 2017

“Access to civil partnership is a feminist issue”

Katie Russell explains why the institution of marriage does not serve women

by The Stylist web team
22 Feb 2017

Katy Perry’s “best friend” Sia helped her beat the Donald Trump blues

Hey, what are friends for?

by Moya Crockett
22 Feb 2017