I am very grateful for reproductive choices. I live in a country where I have access to free health care, and was able to get the best gynaecologist on the planet to tie my tubes without any fuss or fanfair. I can manage my own fertility, and have had the usual hassles with birth control being messy or giving me headaches, but for the most part, it worked well for me. So glad that chapter of my life is finished.
I’ve been giving some thought of late to couples who are still caught up in those worries or frets. One almost 40 year old friend who was worried she was knocked up, after a taking some porrly planned out chances. I know another couple who in their late 30’s are desperate for a child and facing the very intense, costly and intrusive invitro fertilization procedures. And then there is another long-time girlfriend I just ran into. I hadn’t seen her since her fourth child was born. She always wanted four, and her husband wanted to stop at three. She said that despite his feelings it really was her choice. She called it "a Friday night and a bottle of wine", and she would get her way. I don’t live in their relationship, and I’m not judging her behaviour, but it seemed a little one sided. But the truth is, that women have much of the responsibility, and control over the reproduction in their relationships.
As I talk to yet another young women about the side effects of the pill, I am again reminded that our fertility, while better managed than any other time in history, isn’t always simple.