35 and Childfree and want to be sterilized - can't take hormones


I am 35 and have never wanted children. When I was 29 I was diagnosed with oestrogen receptive breast cancer. I had surgery and radiotherapy and was prescribed Tamoxifen. I was told it was important I didn’t get pregnant during treatment as it could harm the baby. I was also told to come off any hormonal birth control as there is a risk it could trigger the cancer. I said I would like my tubes tied and was told a non hormonal copper IUD was just as effective if not more and after difficulty inserting by clinic, was put under general aesthetic to insert the IUD. For 5 years I was problem free, except for when I went for a smear and was told the strings had curled up, but it wouldn’t be a problem as I would have it changed under GA, same as before.
Roll on to April 2020, IUD due to be changed but I was told they wouldn’t do it due to COVID but it should last another year. I called gyne in January to book an appointment, saw the consultant End of February who said he wouldn’t want to sterilise as so many women change their minds. I agreed to have another IUD fitted. Called today and they are waiting for an appointment for a scan to be done before they will arrange pre-op (approx 8 weeks) then I will be waiting at least another month or so for pre-op then however longer for the actual appointment. I can’t even get a call back from Gyne consultant until 11th June. I also have recurring thrush that I have been suffering with for 18 months, (something else treatment of has been halted due to COVID) so cannot use condoms as they really aggravate it.
I feel let down and scared, and like my autonomy has been taken away from me. If I got pregnant I would terminate but knowing what women I know have been through, this is not something I want to go through myself. I’m in a long term relationship with a man, would they have more chance getting a vasectomy? How much does it cost to get sterilised privately? Would I still need a referral from my GP?Im waiting for a call back from them.


Hello @CFCH

I am very sorry indeed for my slow reply.

You should definitely be able to access sterilisation on the NHS.

The guidelines advise that there is a high risk that people under 35 may change their mind and regret the sterilisation. You may or may not agree with this. However there are no restrictions over 35.

Having said that, male sterilisation is an easier procedure and it is just as effective.

I would discuss with your GP and ask them to refer you or your partner for sterilisation.

Many thanks



Thank you for getting back to me. I have been in touch with my GP who has referred me back to Gynaecology and have a face to face appointment to discuss getting sterilised. She was very understanding and believes as I have exhausted my options now I should have a good case. I may have to go through a few things confirming this is exactly what I want which I am happy to do.