Can a Nun/Consecrated Virgin have a hysterectomy?

Not to avoid having children, but maybe to do away with having a painful menstrual cycle for example.

I’m guessing the answer is no unless it’s medically necessary.

You’re allowed to treat medical conditions.
So yes, she could have a hysterectomy if it was medically necessary.

8 Likes

What if it was just for comfort reasons?

This isn’t a morality question, this is a medical question.

Of course a religious sister can receive medical treatment that includes a hysterectomy.

They don’t hand out hysterectomies like candy, however. You can’t get one if it’s not medically indicated.

8 Likes

I’m not sure that’s a thing.
Doctors don’t usually jump to surgery until other treatments have been tried and failed.

4 Likes

If a woman is in frequent pain, and a hysterectormy will likely stop that pain, then it is medically necessary. Hysterectomies come with risks, complications, and significant side effects that can also be uncomfortable, so no woman is going to go into one lightly.

5 Likes

Catholic teaching though has traditionally held that Mary was physically unaffected by the process of birth and remained a virgin in that sense also. Is this not a relevant consideration for someone who has made a vow of perpetual virginity? Or is it significant only for Mary? Just wondering how these are reconciled - it is obvious to me that someone who needs a medical procedure should get it.

No it isn’t. Virginity is only lost if there is pleasure and a consent of sorts.

There need not be pleasure, only sexual intercourse which is consented to.

Got to agree with posters upthread - hysterectomies are pretty much a very last resort, and not done either to prevent conception or for “comfort reasons” (unless by “comfort” you perhaps mean “serious pain which cannot be meangfully alleviated any other way”) and perfectly acceptable if medically advised.

Umm - Vanities and Lily - that’s not what the catechism says: 499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. 154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” 155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos , the “Ever-virgin”.

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT

The catechism is here using an incredibly technical definition of virginity, one under which any woman whose hymen is broken under any circumstances (and there are many) whatsoever is technically not a virgin.

Even the great St Augustine took issue with this being the only or primary definition of virginity. He held that a woman who, for example, was raped, while her hymen would be broken by such an act, was nonetheless still a virgin because the sex was without her consent. This was important if such a woman wanted to become a consecrated virgin.

I don’t at all diispute the Catechisms teaching that Mary remained ever virgin in every possible sense of the word. I was just disagreeing with the poster who said sexual pleasure was needed to lose virginity. I also, like St Augustine, understand that there are multiple dimensions and meanings to the word.

Rest assured an aspiring nun or consecrated virgin is not going to be rejected if she broke her hymen, for example, using a tampon (which is one possibility). Such are not held to the more narrow and technical definition or standard of virginity.

3 Likes

So why does the Church promulgate the belief about Mary as an article of faith? If it is not important for a consecrated virgin, surely it is not important for Mary?

Mary is unique in being Mother of God, which no other woman has ever been or claimed to be.

Any possibility of a technical quibble about Mary’s virginity reflects on HIS status - after all, how could God be incarnate in the womb of a woman if she is just like any other mother? Hence she did not conceive in the normal way, she did not ever consummate her marriage with Joseph in the way a married woman normally would, and she did not give birth in the normal way.

To be worthy of bearing God incarnate Mary had to be Virgin of Virgins.

1 Like

Yes. A Sister friend of mine had to have one for medical reasons.

Doctors don’t do hysterectomies for “comfort reasons.”

3 Likes

Unless you classify having horrible debilitating pain, nausea etc every month and wanting to stop it permanently a “comfort reason”.
Which no woman who has been through severe PMS for months would ever do.

4 Likes

Surgeries are not comfortable. People don’t generally have them for comfort reasons.

1 Like

Yes—I’d definitely class that as a medical reason. I’m not sure what the OP would consider a “comfort reason.” I’ve never heard of hysterectomies for “comfort.”

Normally doctors do not perform very invasive surgeries like a hysterectomy without a medical condition. Tubal ligation is the main method for voluntary female sterilization.

Respectfully opinion only comfort reasons is not medical reason is it?
Also unhealthy for one to do so, why so many woman do not want to have one…because other health issues arise from having a hysterectomy does it not?..The longer one can prevent having one better health wise is it not? Just an opinion…respectfully… Peace :slightly_smiling_face:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.