“Being childfree allows me to do whatever I want, whenever I want.”

Anouk, 27, Netherlands

It took me seven years to find a doctor willing to sterilise me. When I found one, he declared my wish to be ridiculous, but since it wouldn’t harm him personally, he decided to perform the surgery. Which is the weirdest thing ever to say to your patient…

My partner and I discussed not wanting children on our very first date. I could never be in a relationship with someone who values raising a family. It’s not like I decided I didn’t want children, I just never came to a point where I DID want them. I like my freedom, don’t want the responsibility of raising a child, don’t want the financial burden and most certainly don’t want to sacrifice my body and mental health through pregnancy and labor.

After my surgery, a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I’ll never be scared of accidentally getting pregnant, I won’t have to undergo an abortion, the side effects of birth control will no longer ruin me mentally and physically. It’s truly the best thing that ever happened to me.

Being childfree allows me to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I can travel, I can work odd hours, I can be spontaneous, and I can focus all my love, time and attention on the friends, family and causes I deem important in my life.