Writing about getting your tubes tied

Humdrum 65

I’ve been pretty pumped about the new year so far. I like change and new things so I am all about diving into 2020. One major reason is a new writing project that’s been percolating in the back of my head since the fall. The project might ultimately become a book -- a collection of essays. This is exciting and scary since it’s been a while since I’ve thought beyond just a few hundred words. 

Before I get too carried away and overwhelm myself, I’m focusing on one thing, one essay on the topic of voluntary sterilization procedures for women. (More commonly referred to as getting your “tubes tied”). I know someone who had this done recently— though her fallopian tubes were removed as opposed to tied or clamped— and that inspired so many questions (why, what prompted the decision, how does it feel, etc) I decided to write about it.

I also wanted to write about it because getting this procedure done never occurred to me, though I’ve known for a long time I didn’t want to have kids myself. Not one doctor mentioned tubal ligation to me, even though every gynecologist I’ve seen in the past 10-plus years knows I don’t want to get pregnant. A gynecologist even suggested I switch to an IUD when I told her I didn’t want kids, but she didn’t say anything about other options. I feel like tubal ligation or similar should have at least been mentioned. Does this happen to other women???

I’m really interested in learning what other women's experiences were like with voluntary sterilization procedures. How did they learn about them? Were there any obstacles to getting it done? How did they feel afterward?

So with this new writing project, I'm taking a new approach. Typically my focus is on personal writing (my life, really) whether it’s essay or memoir. With this topic, I’m approaching it more broadly, with the primary goal of learning from others instead of exploring my own ideas. This is actually not too dissimilar from the research approach I use in my day job, which is often geared toward understanding specific experiences, behaviors, or attitudes. 

Even though this writing project has nothing to do with my day job, it’s exciting that I can actually employ those skills in my writing. This is not something I thought having a non-literary job would do. Yay!

Which brings me to an ask: I’d love to learn about more women’s experiences getting any sort of voluntary sterilization procedure, whether it’s a tubal ligation, a salpingectomy, or something else.

I know this kind of thing is private and personal so I created a short, anonymous survey. If you’ve had a sterilization procedure yourself, please take a moment to fill it out. If you know of anyone who’s had one, send them the link! I’d appreciate it so much. OR just respond to this email and tell me your story! 

Any information will be folded into an essay on the topic. I don’t know what the angle is yet, but an ulterior motive is to acknowledge and discuss a procedure I suspect many of us don’t know much about. At least I didn’t.

I’m excited to see how this new project develops, and grateful for any support along the way. Stay tuned for more in 2020!


This essay wrecked me. A successful women writer copes with a violent (ex)-husband who is not a successful writer. Even when women achieve success, men are there looming, ready to knock us down. 

I’m enjoying Olivia Waite’s historical f/f romance The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics. I’m about half way through and overall things going pretty well so now I’m wondering if/what terrible drama is about to happen!

Newsletter business

I’m revamping Humdrum in February and moving operations in-house, which is a fancy way of saying the newsletter is moving from Substack to Squarespace. Basically this just means the newsletter might look a little different. And if you know anyone who’s interested in these random little essays I send out every few weeks, direct them to my new sign-up page. Please and thank you!

About this newsletter

Humdrum is written by Christina Brandon, a lover of beginnings. Purchase her memoir Failing Better anywhere you want, including Amazon. Connect with her by replying to this email or jumping on Twitter or Instagram. And tell friends to subscribe!