I know the stance on birth control but

Its long but please, please help…

TMI warning (not too bad though) but I need help and opinions desperatly. Please be kind as I know the churches teaching and I am terrified.

I am sick. I have PMDD (extreme pms) and worst of all interstitial cystitis. It is a non-curable debilitating auto immune disease (ulcers that bleed on bladder lining) that gives me excruciating pain when urinating (every time) and extreme urgency. It is like a PERMANENT severe urinary tract infection. It is progresive and I have begun urinating on accident… :cry: I am extremly healthy other than that and only 30. My IC might be treatable with birth control that eliminates my period. There are no other options at this point since I have tried meds, surgery, tens system, a gallon of h20 a day and physical therapy. My drs. Are fed up. I can control it (6/10 pain at best) some days with antidepressants, a urgency patch and heat pack but PMS and period week(2 weeks) it hets WORSE. I am useless to my family. I am depressed and in debilitating pain.

Now… I am married. No I dont want to prevent children. I have 4 beautiful kids currently (all under 8) and we have a good respectful sex life. If I go on birth control I am scared of it affecting our relationship… What if hes happy im on it because of the infertility part? Is that a sin on his part? What if I end up feeling like that too some day? Will it at any point be harming a fertilized egg?
But even if I go on BC we would be ECSTATIC if it failed and I got pregnant (:heart_eyes:) and we would be 100% open to life! I want another child anyway haha.

I can honestly say I just want my periods gone. I want the pain gone. I want to care for my family and not be sick and useless all the time. Its definitely hurting my husband and kids… Hopefully I could stop taking anti-depressants (helps with pain) but I am scared to go to hell. :sob: I know the church says its not wrong for medical reasons but I am scared it is… I have avoided taking BC for this disease for 15 years because Im terrified. But im so depressed and in pain. I want to please God… I want to go to heaven.

Is suffering/embarassment from my disease better than risking hell? Or am I sinning by NOT fixing the issue.

What would you do or what would you want your wife to do… Help :cry:

*also I have talked to 5 priests and Bishop Olmsted in Phoenix… So very good priests, very very conservative with church teaching.


First thank you for your replies… Second a fun note:

My mom is visiting Rome on business. Yesterday she prayed for me to find healing at the Vatican. Which was the same hour (time difference) that I posed my original post. I did not even know she was going to the Vatican that day.

I have never received so much support and kindness and advice on this (or any) subject ever. I am taking this as a sign from God that Im being rediculous and need to help myself hahaha.
I am very at peace with taking the medication. I will be starting it tomorrow please keep my family in your prayers and for my healing, its appreciated. Thank you all and I will pray for you all. I asked her to pray for you all as well…God Bless

1 Like

Oh, I was just thinking that the pill is an abortifacient. It could cause an embryo , little person, to not be able to implant to your uterine wall.

I don’t think the pill would be morally acceptable to use when you are sexually active for that reason.

Have you spoken to your priest for guidance?

Wow, you really are in a predicament. I’m sorry you are suffering so much because that seems pretty clear you are.

Yes, and they are all VERY much against Birth control normally. But they all say the same thing… For medical reasons its a grey area. They say if im not using pain as an excuse to use it as contraception (im not) and also 100% open to life( if it fails) then bc. for medical reasons is 100% ok and we dont have to abstain.

Im just scared their wrong… Im scared Im being weak somehow. Im scared to hurt a fertalized egg.
At this point I hate my body and I know thats wrong :cry:

I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. Please listen to your Priest. He knows you and your situation, so trust him.


Sounds like yours is a complicated situation. I’d suggest you talk to your priest.

I’m scared your priest is wrong, too!

A priest can be wrong. It is quite possible.

Maybe our resident priest can come along and weigh in.

But IMO it boils down to the possibility of an abortion due to the abortifafcient nature of the pill during sexual activity. I don’t think that can be justified.


yes I have talked to many priests… All directly under our Phoenix Bishop.
I have even asked the bishop himself… They all say the same. Birth control is allowed without abstaining if its for medical issues. But what if they are wrong.

You have consulted doctors and your priest. The treatment offered seems the best for your overall health and what you are dealing with. You would not be using the medication as birth control (though most likely would be a side effect of treating your condition). Trust your doctor and your priest. Be at peace.


The use of birth control is perfectly acceptable for legitimate medical reasons. This qualifies. From Humanae Vitae:

"The Church does not consider illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever "

If it’s not your intent to contracept I, personally, see no problem with it. I will give this warning though as someone who’s been through infertility - when the realization hits you that pregnancy is very likely not going to happen…it can be VERY hard so be sure you have a support system. Arresting natural fertility for even a grave medical reason is a difficult choice to make and shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. Also keep in mind that some more “stringent” people may judge you and that can make the pain of infertility SO much worse. You have to be prepared and confident to dodge the sneers.


I am taking in your opinion. You are the only one with the opinion of it dosent matter the pain level, its bad.
I am not upset at your answer because thats why I am affraid to take it… But im also sinning by hating my body, my life and being useless to my family for not treating my medical issue. Its like I sin gravely either way…
So, so far you are the only ine against it. And your up against 1 bishop, 5 or so priests, 2 counselors and 20 or so doctors. I appreciate your opinion very much.


Yes I am very sad at the thought of not being able to conceive. My priest is helping me with that.

She would not be taking the bc for contraceptive purposes, only to alleviate symptoms from a physical defect. It will be up to her to form her conscience based on the teaching of the church, her spiritual council and the advice of her doctors. It is a heavy burden. God will judge her heart. May she remember his infinite mercy.


Well. I’m just telling you my initial thought process. I’m not infallible. But I’d like to hear what our resident priest has to say to make sense of it from a stricter moral theology framework.

The fact that the bill control pill can make it impossible for the embryo to implant to the uterine wall “seems” to me rather serious. But if all these priests and bishps have told you differently then I’m kind of thinking they are right and I’m not, but in the last analysis, the choice will be yours to make.

I hope our priest comes along to comment, in any case.

I can see that you are suffering a lot.


Good!! (that a priest is helping, not that you’re sad!) You’re in a tough spot, my heart goes out to you. It sure seems to me like you’re in a good place and getting a lot of support to make such a hard decision.

I’ll also add this about the “abortafacient effect” people are bringing up. Even the most fertile couples only have a 25% chance of a fertilized egg implanting in the uterus. That means that even if everything goes COMPLETELY right, the chance of a perfectly healthy fertilized egg implanting is 1 in 4. And that’s your super-fertile people! There are many, many, MANY women with thin uterine linings due to illnesses, hormone problems, defects, etc. The church doesn’t ask them to abstain because they have a higher risk of failure to implant. You are taking on a painful burden of thinning your uterus to treat a medical problem. It’s an unfortunate effect, but it’s an effect no different that women who have that happen to them naturally. They are not killing their children, inducing abortion or anything like that. Nor are you. You are just trying to be healthy and present for your family. It’s also worth mentioning that being sure to take the pill at the exact same time of the day EVERY day without fail greatly reduces the chance of ovulation happening at all, so you can do your best to sidestep it all the more. It’s also worth adding that implantation is not impossible, just a little more improbable. Like, very slightly little. Many women get pregnant while on the pill because if you ovulate, you are VERY likely to get pregnant! The thinning of the uterine lining won’t deter a fertilized egg all that much. In fact my best friend conceived a child with NO uterine lining. The determined lil guy burrowed right into the wall and tapped into a blood vessel. Sadly, she lost the baby to miscarriage at 4 months for other health reasons. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I seem to remember reading it takes you from, like, a 25% chance to something like 15%. The contraceptive purpose of the pill is to prevent ovulation. In doing that the uterine wall is thinned, but not that much. If your egg gets fertilized, it’s got a chance!


@Delphinus gave a really good answer. I was hoping someone would come in with the medical details.


Well, the principle is called “break through ovulation”. It is not a 100% guarantee that the pill will always stop ovulation completely.

I’m not much of a biologist, but I do know a little. A low dose pill is one way this can happen. Forgetting to take the pill for a day or two (?) could also cause a break through ovulation.

That’s what I’ve been informed of, anyways.

1 Like

Thanks. That argument does make sense from a moral theology perspective. The technical aspects of your argument are beyond the scope of my knowledge, however.

To clear up possible misunderstanding, CAF does not, to my knowledge, have a “resident priest” posting on the forums as an official CA authority. There are priests who have elected to register as forum participants and contribute to the various discussions, but as far as I know they were not asked by CA to do so. Even if they were, I don’t see how their opinions would somehow outweigh that of the priests and bishop the OP has consulted in real life.

That said, it sounds like the principle of double effect may apply in this case. Catholic theologian George Weigel, currently the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC, describes double effect as follows:

The principle of double effect in the Church’s moral tradition teaches that one may perform a good action even if it is foreseen that a bad effect will arise only if four conditions are met: 1) The act itself must be good. 2) The only thing that one can intend is the good act, not the foreseen but unintended bad effect. 3) The good effect cannot arise from the bad effect; otherwise, one would do evil to achieve good. 4) The unintended but foreseen bad effect cannot be disproportionate to the good being performed.

He provides the example of a pregnant woman with advanced uterine cancer:

The removal of the cancerous uterus will result in the death of the baby but it would be permissible under the principle of double effect.

One can see how the conditions would be satisfied in this case: 1) The act itself is good; it is the removal of a diseased organ. 2) All that one intends is the removal of the diseased organ. One does not want the death of the baby, either as a means or an end. Nonetheless, one sees that the unborn child will die as a result of the removal of the diseased organ. 3) The good action, the healing of the woman, arises from the removal of the diseased uterus, not from the regrettable death of the baby which is foreseen and unintended. 4) The unintended and indirect death of the child is not disproportionate to the good which is done, which is saving the mother’s life.

Source: Clarifying “Double Effect” by George Weigel

If the priests and bishop the OP has discussed her situation with deem her condition serious enough to warrant hormonal treatment even though that treatment has an undesired contraceptive/abortifacient effect, that should be enough to reassure the OP. There is also the possibility of contacting the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. They provide consultation free of charge (click on “Ask an Ethicist”).

OP, I’m sorry you are in pain and have suffered for so long. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will find relief and support. I’m praying for you and your family. God bless.

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.