Another vasectomy question


#21

[As far as sterilization is concerned], the conditions which would justify disposing of a part in favor of the whole in virtue of the principle of totality are lacking. It is not therefore morally permissible to operate on healthy oviducts if the life or (physical) health of the mother in not threatened by their continued existence.

Setter, it appears that based on this quote, a tubal ligation would be within moral standards. It does not seem that it would apply to me, the guy in the equation. That is unless the union of marriage erases that boundary. What do you think?

BTW, I will consult a priest and check with the Paul VI ppl. I’m on call this weekend so it’ll be later.

Martin


#22

It sounds reasonable to me, Doc. :thumbsup:


#23

[quote=JeffAustralia]I read this post yesterday when there were no posts, and I must say I’m relieved at the number of compassionate and reasonable answers.
[/quote]

Jeff, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I too was relieved at the tone of most of the responses. It doesn’t show on a forum thread but my wife and I are very fragile emotionally. We’ve tried to be real/genuine Catholics and knew there must be some answer to our dilemma (why would God put us in this situation if there was no answer). I’m glad I reached out to the members here and truly appreciate their suggestions. It appeared to be a closed deal and we felt out of options but multiple ideas and options have come about due to some of these replies. All that said, we have more homework to do, more ppl to consult, etc. I’ll let yall know how it all ends up.

Martin


#24

Praying the Rosary for you and your wife right now. Anyone else will join me? :slight_smile:


#25

[quote=FrOg]Regular cycles are a sine qua non for the mucus method, JJ (as I understand it). How does a woman know when her mucus signals ovulation? Is it not different for every woman? How are you to compare thick mucus with thin mucus if you aren’t in a cycle that gives you both? If you haven’t done the mucous testing in the past, how are you to begin without a regular cycle to base it on?

Martin
[/quote]

Martin,
I don’t think that’s the case, because they teach the method to nursing mothers without cycles. I would again encourage you to contact some NFP group and ask them. I’m not a teacher of any method and we use STM which combines temp, mucous and cervix signs. I think she would have to chart for a month to see what’s going on, this would probably mean a stretch of abstinence, but then she would look for any CHANGE in mucus that would indicate possible return of fertility. Also, I would say getting a look at why her cycles are so irregular would be a good thing to do (unless she’s nursing, of course, that would be the cause). Again, contact an NFP group–they truly deal with these life and death situations and could answer your question better than I can. I won’t pretend to be in her situation of such grave issues, but I would think that the knowledge that ANY and ALL forms of contraception fail would be just as scary as relying on mucus or temps or cervix.

Further, I do believe the Chinese gov’t now allows and endorses the ovulation method (mucus) as effective enough for their one child only program, so it must work. The reasons are grave there, since more than one child means death to the next child!!!
woomb.org/bom/trials/chinaLaunching.html
lifeissues.net/writers/kla/kla_01useofbillings.html

Can any of these methods be 100% “safe” from conception? NO, no method of family planning is except for the removal of the testes, ovaries/uterus or total abstinence. Even a vas. is not 100%, there is always a slight chance of conception.

Anyway, I hope you are able to locate info to help your wife’s cycles, learn about NFP and stay within church teaching.

God bless you both. I’ll be praying for your intentions!
Jennifer J


#26

God bless you both. I’ll be praying for your intentions!
Jennifer J

me too!

May be there is already evident in you of what it takes to be a saint - heroic practice of virtue : the fact that you both wanted to follow church teachings … seeking help …this in a field where it is very easy to go with the wisdom of the world …

Hope this becomes for you and many others through you an occasion of a deeper experience of how The Lord can be so generous and faithful, when we can trust and surrender …

Have heard of how they have used stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue and have heard from these same forums how mensrtual blood has more stem cells than bone marrow! ;would it not be good to have fruitful work in this field as far as repair of uterine tissue as well , even if not for your personal benefit …

And who knows what surprises may await as far as the male ejaculate as well - of its healing or detrimental effects( when misused as in any unnatural relations !) …aren’t there already reports of autoimmune phenomenon and higher risk of heart attacks- from vasectomy - may be good to have some studies on effects of sinful OS and G I. problems,such as reflux ( even so many babies affected! ( not implying all victims of such by any means …)

As we approach the anniv. of beloved Pope John Paul11 , may his prayers and blessings be with us all !


#27

[quote=Georgess]May be there is already evident in you of what it takes to be a saint - heroic practice of virtue :
[/quote]

The story of Saint Gianna Molla came to my mind as I read this thread. If the original poster doesn’t already know of her, I suggest he learn about her and ask for her intercession. She was also a Catholic physician.

No matter what you decide about the vasectomy, sooner or later your wife will still die. She might die from a pregnancy, or maybe a car crash, or maybe old age fifty years from now. Bodily death will happen to every one of us. Sometimes we need to worry less about bodily death and worry more about spiritual death.

Contraception made it’s way into the Anglican church under the guise of helping married couples in such extreme circumstances in the 1930’s. Now just about every Protestant church accepts contraception and many accept abortion. I do not envy your and your wives position, but maybe you can ebbrace the cross of celibacy together and offer it for the salvation of the many physicians who prescribe contraception and perform abortions.

St. Gianna, pray for us.


#28

[quote=FrOg][As far as sterilization is concerned], the conditions which would justify disposing of a part in favor of the whole in virtue of the principle of totality are lacking. It is not therefore morally permissible to operate on healthy oviducts if the life or (physical) health of the mother in not threatened by their continued existence.

Setter, it appears that based on this quote, a tubal ligation would be within moral standards. It does not seem that it would apply to me, the guy in the equation. That is unless the union of marriage erases that boundary. What do you think?

BTW, I will consult a priest and check with the Paul VI ppl. I’m on call this weekend so it’ll be later.

Martin
[/quote]

FrOg,

I appreciate your intellectual honesty. It is my understanding that of Church teaching that direct sterilization (tubal ligation) is never morally permissible. The treatment of a medical problem with the unintended side effect of indirect] sterilization is morally licit.

This is a relevant CA Ask An Apologist (AAA) forum response from search words: sterilization medical:

Can a hysterectomy be done for sterilization purposes?

Question: Would hysterectomy be justified for contraceptive reasons if and only if pregnancy is 100% guaranteed to be fatal for both mother and child?

CA Apologist Answer: A hysterectomy could be done if there were a medical problem with the uterus itself that endangered the life of the mother (e.g., cancer, unstable or ruptured uterus). In such a case sterilization would be an unintended side effect and therefore the procedure would be morally licit. But a hysterectomy cannot be performed if the intention itself is sterilization, which appears to be the case in the hypothetical situation posed. A woman facing such a situation should contact the organizations listed below for help in determining licit courses of action that would do what is possible to protect her life.

Recommended resources:

Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction
National Catholic Bioethics Center

Recommended reading:

That Celibate Bachelor Was Right! by Rachel Fay

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers Apologist

You may also want to check out these relevant AAA forum responses from search words: tubal ligation:

Are there exceptions to the ban on sterilization?

Should I have been sterilized for medical reasons?

Can I get a vasectomy?

To put it another way: “…a simple way to determine whether a proposed treatment that impacts a woman’s fertility is morally acceptable or not is to consider whether the same treatment would be necessary for a single or celibate woman. If the answer is no, then the proposed drug or procedure is immoral.” Source: catholicmom.com/nfp0304.htm

Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law. (CCC 2297)

Regarding you query if “That is unless the union of marriage erases that boundary”, conjugal fidelity in the sacrament of holy matrimony demands that husband and wife “Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another”:

The married couple forms “the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent.” Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (CCC 2364)

Additional citations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #'s 2366 & 2370 specifically point out why contraceptive intercourse speaks a contradictory language to the total self-giving of husband and wife:

You may want to read Section III “The Love of Husband and Wife” (paragraphs 2360 – 2379) from the CCC for a fuller presentation of why contraceptive intercourse if prohibited by the Church.

I hope (and pray the beads along with the others) that this is helpful in your discernment process.

setter


#29

I have to agree with Jennifer and Setter…the place to get answers is www.popepaulvi.com or is it www.popepaulvi.org

Anyway, even doctors are in the dark about how NaProTechnology works… It is a COMPLETE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM… and there are so many markers that indicate if there is a problem…or if there is fertility etc. This is even more EFFECTIVE THAN STERILIZATION… which as one member mentioned has its own baggage, such as autoimmune disease… heart disease…strokes…cancer. etc. see www.ccli.org
I have friends whose husbands underwent a vasectomy…one of them had it done THREE TIMES… and their wives still got pregnant…and no it wasn’t the milkman.

The CHURCH and CHRIST are ONE…so to disobey one is to disobey the other… Sorry for not having a softer approach, but I have had to deal with the brokeness that follows so many couples who have made the mistake of thinking their case was different
The bond in the marriage… the trust issues… the health issues
and the spiritual slippery slope… are not to be taken lightly.

Yours for “LIFE” Granny D


#30

[quote=gardenswithkids]No matter what you decide about the vasectomy, sooner or later your wife will still die. She might die from a pregnancy, or maybe a car crash, or maybe old age fifty years from now.
[/quote]

Oh, please!!! :mad:


#31

Stem cells are a theoretical treatment option, not actual. I see many ppl with heart attacks and none of them have ever gotten stem cell treatment of any sort, it doesn’t clinically exist. Further, the restructuring of the uterus with fibrous tissue is a physical problem that no amount of stem cell breakthroughs can replace, even if you could regrow a second uterus, you couldn’t replace the first due too all the adhesions. There is no science, as far as I know, behind reflux or GI problems arising as side effects from vasectomies (not sure what OS stands for). I don’t believe that God physcally punishes our sins.

Martin


#32

*Would hysterectomy be justified for contraceptive reasons if and only if pregnancy is 100% guaranteed to be fatal for both mother and child?

CA Apologist Answer: A hysterectomy could be done if there were a medical problem with the uterus itself that endangered the life of the mother (e.g., cancer, unstable or ruptured uterus). In such a case sterilization would be an unintended side effect and therefore the procedure would be morally licit. But a hysterectomy cannot be performed if the intention itself is sterilization, which appears to be the case in the hypothetical situation posed. A woman facing such a situation should contact the organizations listed below for help in determining licit courses of action that would do what is possible to protect her life.*

Here is the problem with this answer, as I see it. The author cites CA and unstable/ruptured uterus as reasons to have a hysterectomy. The author does not realize that the mechanism of death resulting from pregnany would be a “ruptured uterus”. To say that a person must wait for the uterus to rupture before taking action is no only imprudent and barbaric, but immoral, IMO. A ruptured uterus can easily kill the mother within an hour, which may be longer than it’ll take to get into an OR even if paramedics were at the scene of rupture and taking for granted that someone will be able to diagnose the rupture at the scene (not likely if the doctor does not know the history.)

If you forsee rupture, would you risk the woman’s life before taking action? Would you do it if it were your wife?

The confounding factor here is that there would be an umborn child involved as well.

To be honest, I can’t say that the uterus will rupture with 100% certainty. I didn’t see the uterus itself, I only heard the surprised expression of the surgeons during the operation and heeded their advice for a tubal ligation/vasectomy. I’ll give the Paul VI foundation a shot and see if they have any other suggestions. Ther are a few things of which I am certain: I am not willing to gamble with this issue. To start taking temps again and start looking at cerevical mucus seems too risky for me.

Someone illuded to autoimmune/CA/heart related side effects of vasectomies. I’d just go on the record as saying that I don’t believe that. Those types of claims seem intended to scare ppl into acting morally and, IMO, do not help the faith but hurt it. I practice in a military environment where many ppl get vasectomies as a matter of public health and to avoid abortions (military does not do them). I have never heard of these types of claims and suspect there is no real science behind them. (I’ll check out the link to be fair).

Someone else mentioned that vasectomies are not a 100% guarantee. That is true. But to equate them with NFP simply because neither are 100% guaranteed is folly as well. Vasectomies, when done with appropriate follow up, are darn near 100%, (I’m not aware if experience of the surgeon makes a difference, but to have it redone 3 times is unheard of). I’ve heard that NFP can be near 100% but I don’t believe it when it comes to the irregularily of my wife’s menses. Again, I’ll see what the Paul VI ppl suggest as far as lactating.

Here’s the bottom line, we don’t mind abstinence for a time. I’m siimply not willing to take a chance with my wife’s life. If you could guarantee that intercourse at some part of the month will not produce a baby, that would make me happy (after all, that is generally what NFP tries to do). I did not trust NFP 100% after our second child but we wanted a third and wanted God to have the say in that part of our relationship. All that changed when we found out that we cannot have more babies. This is what the hardliners (not anyone at this site ;)) fail to understand. I’m not just looking for a way to diminish our responsibility with regard to our sex life.

Sorry for rambling. Lot’s of repressed feelings at the moment.

Martin


#33

The same mechanism that makes the sperm… also makes HDL so when a man gets a vasectomy… he not only stops producing sperm… but the HDL… thereby putting him at risk for heart attack and stroke… If you visit www.ccli.org… and ask for info on the mechanism of vasectomy and why it causes cancers etc. they should be able to send it to you… They have a pamphlet on it…with all the medical citations.

As far as rupture of the uterus. My very good friend (R.I.P)
Prof. Ian Donald… who INVENTED THE ULTRASOUND MACHINE… and the HEART/LUNG MACHINE…and so many other medical technologies…that they erected a MONUMENT TO HIM…in Edinburgh, Scotland… told me …when I was being FORCED to have c-sections…because I already had one…(old fashioned type…belly button down) that NO OB/GYN worth his salt would not be able to MONITOR the scar during labor and with ultrasound… and if a rupture was going to happen they would then perform a c-section… Otherwise a vaginal delivery should be encouraged.

It sounds to me…like you don’t want the trouble of monitoring
and checking… etc… and this is part of the problem with NFP
There are too many men who are used to getting what they want.
WHEN THEY WANT IT… It is arrested development… Maturity would not be so frustrated or impatient. My two cents

Yours for “LIFE” Granny D


#34

[quote=Granny D]The same mechanism that makes the sperm… also makes HDL so when a man gets a vasectomy… he not only stops producing sperm… but the HDL… thereby putting him at risk for heart attack and stroke… If you visit www.ccli.org… and ask for info on the mechanism of vasectomy and why it causes cancers etc. they should be able to send it to you… They have a pamphlet on it…with all the medical citations.

As far as rupture of the uterus. My very good friend (R.I.P)
Prof. Ian Donald… who INVENTED THE ULTRASOUND MACHINE… and the HEART/LUNG MACHINE…and so many other medical technologies…that they erected a MONUMENT TO HIM…in Edinburgh, Scotland… told me …when I was being FORCED to have c-sections…because I already had one…(old fashioned type…belly button down) that NO OB/GYN worth his salt would not be able to MONITOR the scar during labor and with ultrasound… and if a rupture was going to happen they would then perform a c-section… Otherwise a vaginal delivery should be encouraged.

It sounds to me…like you don’t want the trouble of monitoring
and checking… etc… and this is part of the problem with NFP
There are too many men who are used to getting what they want.
WHEN THEY WANT IT… It is arrested development… Maturity would not be so frustrated or impatient. My two cents

Yours for “LIFE” Granny D
[/quote]

Good try Granny. Men who get vasectomies make sperm just like men without vasectomies. The path between the testicle and the urethra is interrupted in a vasectomy. Do your homework, Granny.

HDL is made in the liver, not in the testicle and there is no correlation between vasectomies and high HDL. Go to pubmed.com and search “vasectomy AND HDL”. It has been studied and what you propose and state as fact is wrong. Do your homework.

As far as a man being too lazy and wanting what he wants, when he wants, my wife and I have done NFP for 3 years. We used the couple-couple leage method with a thermometer and monthly charting. And, BTW, we have half of our last calendars left, if you want it.

Martin


#35

One more thing, Granny. Women who rupture can rupture at any time, not only in labor. My wife was on the verge of rupturing without ever being in labor, and that was before this last cesarean section. The danger is that a woman will rupture in a grocery store, at home, in her car, etc.

Martin


#36

I thank everyone for their replies. I’ve learned a lot and received some great ideas. At this point I will not post on this thread anymore as it is becoming less about solutions and…

I’ll let yall know what happens in another thread. Thank you all especially for the objective quotes and links…

Martin


#37

Correct…a vasectomy interupts the passage of the sperm…but the brain…gets the message…and STOPS MAKING SPERM
If the body continued to make sperm…with NO OUTLET…the storage capacity would indeed be too small to handle the load.

Correct … a woman can rupture at any time…but the scar would show signs of breaking down…and if she was under an OB/GYN he should be able to determine that it was breaking down and he would have her admitted… and delivered by c-section if that was the best outcome…or keep her under supervision in hospital until a better time to deliver.

Yours for “LIFE” Granny D


#38

Yes, Granny D, this is probably also very correct in technicality. But in reality you have a man here who is faced with the very real possibility of his wife dying. He’s not somebody who’s been looking for an easy answer, or “convenience”, plus he also knows how the human body works better than any of us here. He’s clearly had enough of the letter-of-the-law stuff, and I don’t blame him. How about you show some compassion and get off his back, eh?


#39

Compassion is putting oneself in the others shoes and feeling their pain. I can say that I have felt that pain…from a spousal perspective… Biology and Theology cannot be compassionate they can only tell it like it is… and if we don’t share the facts then it is MISPLACED CHARITY. I know many people who have had vasectomies and tubals… and regretted it… even those who had good or at least they seemed good medical reasons have come to realize there was more to this than they could have imagined
One thing that I know has helped those who have repented of their sterilizations… and couldn’t afford financially or physically to have them reversed…was to learn N.F.P and ABSTAIN during those times that the wife would be FERTILE…this way they were giving the marital act the value that was given it by God… Once the wife reaches menapause then they could have relations any time.

Yours for “LIFE” Granny D


#40

[quote=Granny D]One thing that I know has helped those who have repented of their sterilizations… and couldn’t afford financially or physically to have them reversed…was to learn N.F.P and ABSTAIN during those times that the wife would be FERTILE…this way they were giving the marital act the value that was given it by God… Once the wife reaches menapause then they could have relations any time.
[/quote]

Yes, but I bet they weren’t facing the same dire consequences if it went wrong!


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