I was in my 20s when my favorite aunt had her gallbladder removed. As I recall, she told me it was due to pressure from when she was pregnant, and any woman who had more than two babies would have to have the same surgery. My mom, a mother of three, provided further proof when she had a cholecystectomy, as did many of her childbearing friends. So, naturally, I assumed some day, after I was done having babies, I’d lose mine.
Now, as a childfree woman, I look back and wonder if that was all a bunch of old wives hooey. And you know what, it’s not! According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Pregnancy increases the risk for gallstones, and pregnant women with stones are more likely to have symptoms than nonpregnant women.”
And I think, “HA!” Not only do I get to skip the wretchedness of morning sickness and the flesh-ripping pains of childbirth, but I get to keep my gallbladder too. Score another point for the joys of being childfree!
Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeWithoutBaby. She’s starting to see the upside of being childfree.