Is having a tubal ligation a sin?


I had a tubal ligation back in 2007 after having my third child and my third c-section at the advice of my Ob-gyn. I want to ask if this is considered a sin. I am planning to go to confession tomorrow and is wondering if I should confess this to the priest.


Depends on whether or not you knew, at the time, the church’s position on it. Mortal sin requires full knowledge of the gravity of the act, full knowledge of the consequences of the act, and complete willfulness to proceed despite (or in spite of) such knowledge.

I have confessed acts from my past which would not be considered sins given the fact I was woefully ignorant of the moral teachings of the church on certain matters. I didn’t confess them because I felt obliged in that I felt I was in a state of sin. I confessed them because once I was blessed to receive the wisdom of the Spirit in seeing my past actions in a new light I was overcome with remorse and a deep sadness, not just for the actions, but for being so ignorant at the time. I needed the grace of the confessional to help me let go of the past hurts, to take full responsibility for my part in those, and to receive God’s peace.

Jesus gave us the gift of Reconciliation to help us move beyond our human failings so that we can grow closer to him. Reflecting on Peter’s denial helps me understand the beauty of that gift. If you are troubled by your circumstances and feel moved by the Spirit to receive God’s peace, confess the matter.

God bless.


What a beautiful answer!



Although you may not have committed mortal sin (if knowledge of the sinfulness of blocking one of God’s intentions for sex - procreation - wasn’t there) it would still be considered a venial sin and we are very strongly urged by the Magisterium of the Church to confess venial sins also. When I was younger, I also had this done, then, when I found it was a sin, I wanted to be as “clean” as I could be (and as right with Him as possible).


Having “been there, done that” I would say “yes”.

Years after confessing that, I realized that the reason I had had a tubal was that I didn’t trust God [to do what I wanted Him to do in my life]. That realization made me sad, and I recently confessed that lack of trust, too. Just food for thought.

I’ll pray that all goes well.


Definitely confess it and let the priest tell you if it’s a sin. You have not given us enough details to make this judgment. From a completely “objective” viewpoint, yes it’s a sin, perhaps a serious one if your intention was purely to thwart procreation in your marriage. But you say your doctor recommended it? So there was some external pressure being applied to you, or it was necessary for your health? In that case perhaps not a sin. I had a hysterectomy, not to avoid children, in fact I would have liked to have them, but because it was medically necessary. That is not a sin. This matter is certainly a huge one that will affect your marriage, tell the priest briefly the facts of what happened and let him decide if sin exists and then absolve you if needed.

Also you may like to read Theology of the Body or one of the condensed explanations of it, as many married people find this enriches their understanding of the role of sexuality and fertility in their loving relationship. You also have, even if only in the back of your mind, the knowledge that you now will never have more children. That may not affect you when you are busy raising three. Later in life in might.

There are emotional issues here too that women tend to ignore. Losing your fertility for life is not just a simple procedure, and your husband has lost his as well, essentially, in the marriage. It’s not only a “one time” sin issue, but something that will affect your feelings toward each other, and that aspect needs to be explored by reading, marriage encounter, or other ways of keeping the communication flowing in the marriage.


Yep, confess it. :thumbsup:


Absolutely, confess it! Do not be afraid–unfortunately, it isn’t anything that the priest has not heard hundreds of times before. You will not be required to “reverse” your decision but it is important that you acknowledge before God what you did was wrong even at the time you didn’t realize it.


I enjoyed reading all the answers, although I was amused that one person asked if the OB/GYN recommended a tubal ligation for her health! Yes, there can be reasons, such as cancer, that can cause one to medically need a hysterectomy. That is very true. However, as a Natural Family Planning instructor, I just cannot imagine the necessity of a tubal ligation for one’s health! Also, it is not permissible to use sterilization simply as a form of contraception, because the woman’s health would suffer if she became pregnant. Symptothermal NFP is as effective as the Pill when taught and used correctly. And if the couple is even more serious about avoiding pregnancy, they can be more careful in their use of NFP.
Tubal ligations can cause many health problems for a long time after the surgery. This is the same with vasectomy. If you ever change your mind about it, a reversal can be a possibility.
Did you know that some women who repent of sterilization surgery practice NFP even though they physically do not need to? They learn NFP, and then they abstain during the fertile time, just as if they did not have the tubal. If that doesn’t show repentence, I don’t know what does.


True. It must make a difference in every gesture or touch daily. The seeming “freedom” or “lack of worry” is replaced by a “barrenness” … for both spouses. I have thought about this concept, but I really liked how you expressed it. Thanks.:sad_yes:


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