Abstaining from sex

Is it a sin if I abstain from sex with my wife due to medical issues related to diabetes and a possible stroke?

Not at all. Why would it be?



Why would it be a sin to abstain from sex (with ones wife) without a medical issue?


I saw a post on here at states we can only abstain for a short period of time.

Whomever made that post was misinformed. There are saints that were married and never even consumated the marriage (St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin comes to mind)


Abstaining for medical reasons is not unusual.


Talk to your doctor about whether you should be engaging in intercourse.

If it’s medically contraindicated, you should definitely abstain.

If your doctor says it’s OK, then it’s a prudential matter to discuss with your wife. When we are able, we should not refrain from the marital embrace except my mutual consent.

Where is your wife in this as far as desire for intimacy?


By mutual consent.

If a spouse desires to engage in the marital embrace the other spouse should not deny the spouse without serious reason.

Now in the OP’s case if he has a medical situation, that is certainly a serious reason. He should talk to his doctor.

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“Some have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Look up Saint Elzear and blessed Delphina - man and wife who abstained their entire married lives.


I assume that you’re referring to someone quoting St. Paul . . .

She would like me to use BC

Is she Catholic?

And is she the one with medical issues, or are you?

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Yes she is and yes she is the one with the medical issues.

So pregnancy is the issue? She wants to use birth control so she can still have sex anytime and not worry about getting pregnant? If yes, the Church says no. However there are many easy and reliable NFP methods out there. The Ava bracelet, for example, measures your body temp while you sleep and gives you a fertile/not fertile reading every morning. Easy peasy . You’ll probably need to abstain around 10 days a month if her cycles are regular. Not the end of the world. Lots of people abstain for 10 days because their spouse has a cold or is traveling or the kids have the flu…

Have you suggested Natural Family Planning to her?

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It’s possible her medication could interfere with the timing of her cycles if you were to explore NFP. You could ask her to learn about NFP to track her cycles, and suggest that abstaining until she gets the clear from her doctor that sex is okay.

I have many times, but she claims it won’t work because we “tried” it and got pregnant. We never received any formal information or took any classes.

Yes I have but she won’t take any classes.

Talk to your priest and an NFP professional. NFP works. It’s not infallible, but neither is birth control. Very conservative NFP can be 99% effective, if used properly. I recommend the Marquette Method. You can google it.

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You may abstain as long as you both agree to it. If your spouse desires to resume relations, then, resume relations.

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