Is having your tubes tied for a medical reason allowed?


#1

Hello,
DH and I have 3 children. 4, 3, and 21 months. My youngest son was conceived on the pill before we converted and became married in the church. Since then, we have used NFP very faithfully. At the time I had my youngest of boys, I had had 3 C-sections in under 34 months. The DR said I MUST wait 3 years at least for fear of a uterine rupture because of the amount of scar tissue I haad ( I am a poor healer )
19 months later--faithfully using NFP, I decided to go back to school full time as a student nurse! DH and I are increasingly aware of my cycle due to not wanting to become pregnant during my hectic schooling. During this time the DR finds a growth in my uterus and it is removed. I am told I may not ever conceive without medical interventin again :confused: and DH and I realize we truly want more children and are very sad we waited after baby #3. After discussion, I decide to do a St. Philomena novena praying that when and IF God thinks its ok, could we please have just one more when he feels the time is right? We continue to track and abstain with the idea that if we are meant to conceive we will try in August when I have only 4 months left to school. WE abstain day 9-17, and find out we are pregnant 4 weeks later! :) :confused: WE are so confused! we made sure to abstain! Fast foward---I went to the OB yesterday and she was VERY worried fo rme and baby, saying this is too soon, i fear an abruption. I really feel you absoultely need your tubes tied this time around. You can not keep having babies and c sections liek this. its irresponsible. She really does feel if I have any more children, I risk death for either me or baby due to scar tissue and hence bleeding out. Is this allowed? what is the church's stance on this? Would anyone here take the advice and do this or is it bst to leave it up to God? Is it, irresponsible of me? any advise is welcome, but please, I am emotional, and the thought of tieing them hurts me to the core, so tread softly, but honestly. thank you

In Christ,
Nicole


#2

From the Catechism...

**

*2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception). *


So, in layman's terms, no. :o

Even in Humanae Vitae, the pope stated that couples could not contracept (sterilization falls under this word) even for grave reasons.

You said that you faithfully abstained days 9-17, well, that sure does sound like the Rhythm Method to me. :rolleyes: NFP is a cycle by cycle basis, you can't always rely on abstaining on certain days of the month. Which method of NFP do you use?

A very close friend of mine was in the same boat as you. She delivered her baby last week, 5 weeks early. The baby was in the NICU for a few days and I am glad to say that she is home. Her doctor also advised her to get her tubes tied, but in her heart, she knew it wasn't right. She and her husband are going to learn CCL's sympto-thermal method because they want to have the extra confirmation of the thermal shift.

I am sure you will do the right thing. :)


#3

we abstained days 9-17 because day 9 is when my temp dipped. it went up day 10 and we remained chaste until 17

In Christ,
Nicole


#4

You certainly have a serious reason to avoid having more children. The Church does not require you to continue having children when your health is in jeopardy.

You may use natural family planning or, if you feel it is necessary, complete abstinence to avoid children. There are several methods of NFP, so I recommend you look at all the methods and especially Marquette which has a fertility monitor as part of its instructions.

There are several women on these boards who also have life threatening issues and use NFP to avoid.

What you cannot do is sterilize yourself or use contraception. These are mortally sinful actions. Contraception and direct sterilization are always gravely wrong.

I am very sorry you are going through these medical complications and know that you are reaching out for support in doing the right thing morally.


#5

My mother died at age 43 because she refused to have the hysterectomy that her doctor recommended due to health issues. She left nine children ranging from four years old. The consequences in each of our lives have continued throughout our lives, in some siblings, leaving particular harm, some of which took years to heal and some never.
She tried natural birth control throughout the years. For her, clearly it didn’t work much.
My father blamed himself for years over her death, which followed the miscarriage of her latest child and twelfth, conceived after the advice given, despite care taken not to conceive.


#6

Hi Nicole,
I understand your dilemma all to well. I, too have been cautioned by my OB about having any more babies because I have had 6 c-sections. She told me that I do not have much scar tissue, but the risks statistically are higher with multiple c-sections. We are using NFP, and I will not have a tubal ligation, because as other posters have pointed out it is wrong, and with NFP, God is still in charge.
You prayed a novena for another baby and how wonderful that God is entrusting you with another little angel. Continue to pray, and try not to be anxious and fearful about this pregnancy. Try to enjoy this special miracle that is now so tiny and growing under your heart. I will pray for peace of mind for you during this pregnancy.


#7

From the National Catholic Bioethics
ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=385

Directive 56

A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.40


#8

forums.catholic.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=6734004

Humanae Vitae states it this way: "On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all 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."

A relatively straightforward example of the use of such "therapeutic means" would be a woman with cancer of the uterus. In such a case it is definitely morally acceptable for a surgeon to treat the cancer by removing the woman's uterus even though she will be infertile after this operation. The purpose of removing the woman's uterus is to rid her body of disease and the fact that she will no longer be able to conceive is an unintended side-effect.

This is very different, however, than a woman who has a disease or medical condition that makes pregnancy itself extremely dangerous or even life threatening for her or the child who might be conceived. All too often such women are told - by their doctors, relatives, friends and, sadly, even their priests - that because they have a "medical reason" not to become pregnant it is acceptable for them to use contraception or be surgically sterilized.

A woman whose life would be jeopardized by pregnancy certainly has very grave reasons to avoid conceiving, but, as always, both the end (in this case avoiding pregnancy) and the means by which this is done must be morally good and the Church is absolutely clear that drugs, devices and procedures whose sole purpose is to make a couple unable to conceive are never morally acceptable:

. . .the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children . . . Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation - whether as an end or as a means. (Humanae Vitae)"


#9

[quote="Trishie, post:5, topic:201554"]
My mother died at age 43 because she refused to have the hysterectomy that her doctor recommended due to health issues. She left nine children ranging from four years old. The consequences in each of our lives have continued throughout our lives, in some siblings, leaving particular harm, some of which took years to heal and some never.
She tried natural birth control throughout the years. For her, clearly it didn't work much.
My father blamed himself for years over her death, which followed the miscarriage of her latest child and twelfth, conceived after the advice given, despite care taken not to conceive.

[/quote]

A hysterectomy is NOT the same thing as a tubal ligation. There are times when a hysterectomy is also not morally licit, but if there is something wrong with your uterus and it needs to be REMOVED, that is not direct sterilization. A tubal ligation is ALWAYS direct sterilization and NEVER morally licit.

[quote="Trishie, post:7, topic:201554"]
From the National Catholic Bioethics
ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=385

Directive 56

A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.40

[/quote]

A tubal ligation would not preserve her life. It would only sterilize her, which is NEVER morally licit.


#10

Sorry Trishie, your first two posts seem to be saying that having a tubal ligation is saving the mother’s life and OK, but then in your last post you are clearly posting a quote that says it’s not OK. So, I’m a little confused, but hope you’re not! :o;)


#11

[quote="AngelEyes4Jesus, post:3, topic:201554"]
we abstained days 9-17 because day 9 is when my temp dipped. it went up day 10 and we remained chaste until 17

In Christ,
Nicole

[/quote]

You do realize sperm can live up to as long as 5 days in a woman? So if you had intercourse on CD 8, you ovulated day 9, you can easily conceive. :shrug: Why are you abstaining so many days AFTER ovulation? The rule is peak +4 days, not a week after ovulation. Once you ovulate, the egg typically only "lives" about 24 hours then disentegrates. If you need to avoid pregnancy due to medical reasons you need to avoid intercourse BEFORE ovulation is confirmt +4 days, then it is safe for intercourse.

You should really look into the different methods of NFP and get teaching. Also, IMHO, you need a new doc, the one you have is full of ****.


#12

Not not confused! First post was just personal experience of the tragic possibilities.
Subsequently, I was busy researching Catholic Bioethics.


#13

[quote="AngelEyes4Jesus, post:1, topic:201554"]
Hello,
DH and I have 3 children. 4, 3, and 21 months. My youngest son was conceived on the pill before we converted and became married in the church. Since then, we have used NFP very faithfully. At the time I had my youngest of boys, I had had 3 C-sections in under 34 months. The DR said I MUST wait 3 years at least for fear of a uterine rupture because of the amount of scar tissue I haad ( I am a poor healer )
19 months later--faithfully using NFP, I decided to go back to school full time as a student nurse! DH and I are increasingly aware of my cycle due to not wanting to become pregnant during my hectic schooling. During this time the DR finds a growth in my uterus and it is removed. I am told I may not ever conceive without medical interventin again :confused: and DH and I realize we truly want more children and are very sad we waited after baby #3. After discussion, I decide to do a St. Philomena novena praying that when and IF God thinks its ok, could we please have just one more when he feels the time is right? We continue to track and abstain with the idea that if we are meant to conceive we will try in August when I have only 4 months left to school. WE abstain day 9-17, and find out we are pregnant 4 weeks later! :) :confused: WE are so confused! we made sure to abstain! Fast foward---I went to the OB yesterday and she was VERY worried fo rme and baby, saying this is too soon, i fear an abruption. I really feel you absoultely need your tubes tied this time around. You can not keep having babies and c sections liek this. its irresponsible. She really does feel if I have any more children, I risk death for either me or baby due to scar tissue and hence bleeding out. Is this allowed? what is the church's stance on this? Would anyone here take the advice and do this or is it bst to leave it up to God? Is it, irresponsible of me? any advise is welcome, but please, I am emotional, and the thought of tieing them hurts me to the core, so tread softly, but honestly. thank you

In Christ,
Nicole

[/quote]

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

so not at all, it is a grave matter which is a mortal sin


#14

I realize you may not be including all the details, but just responding to what you’ve written here. Temperature is NOT a main indicator of fertility, it is only a cross check. One cannot rely on temp to determine fertility, only to “confirm”.
You may know all this already, but I’ve seen lots of threads around here where the people didn’t.
I 2nd the idea of looking into marquette method. Find an NFP only doctor that isn’t looking to sterilize you, but support you in respecting your body and keeping you healthy.


#15

[quote="AngelEyes4Jesus, post:3, topic:201554"]
we abstained days 9-17 because day 9 is when my temp dipped. it went up day 10 and we remained chaste until 17

In Christ,
Nicole

[/quote]

Can you provide more details, please? Because it sounds like you don't quite understand the basic rules of the STM method.


#16

[quote="gam3rchic, post:11, topic:201554"]

You should really look into the different methods of NFP and get teaching. Also, IMHO, you need a new doc, the one you have is full of ****.

[/quote]

This was exactly what I was thinking. I changed doctors for baby #4 b/c this one was closer, and I was afraid to have to drive a good 45 miutes to get to the hospital, but the dr. I got was "worried" about the placement of the placenta because I had already carried 3 other children. I am switching back to my old dr. He always joked about seeing me again in a few months with NFP but he never tried to push early inductions, or Cesarean, or birth control, or sterilization. He asked what my plan was, and I told him and he left it alone. But if I could find one that was all about NFP then I think I would give that dr a try as long as it wasn't at the local hospital here. The worst birthing experience EVER!

Good Luck with the baby- what a blessing that God answered your prayers, and so quickly too! I gave birth to 2 of my children while I was in school earning dual Associate degrees. So don't worry it can be done, just plan and your instructors will usually work with you too.

But seriously look into finding a better dr.


#17

I’m so sorry for your loss. :frowning:

I’m afraid that this is not pertinent to the OP’s question about tubal ligation though.


#18

Dear OP,
When we were still Protestant, after our fourth child, I had my tubes tied. I was 24 and had had four babies in four years. NFP really didn’t work for me because I seemed to be fertile all the time! :stuck_out_tongue: (I always hated using ABC, so I never did.) I must say that I never delved deeply into the various NFP methods though, because having babies didn’t really bother me, we wanted a large family, etc., etc.
Then our last son was born, and his birth was particularly painful. I suddenly turned into a giant scaredy-cat about going through L/D again. So foolishly I had my tubes tied.
I can’t tell you how much I regret that decision. Worst decision I ever made. Because about 4-5 years later, I was longing to get pregnant for another go-around of children, and was completely unable to get pregnant.
Please find a doctor, unlike mine, who will be very supportive of a pro-life view and will be a little more supportive of your pregnancy and possible future pregnancies.


#19

I would suggest doing the most conservative form of NFP: abstaining during Phase I and II (before and during the fertile phase) and only using Phase III (after the fertile phase) because it is easier to tell when ovulation has passed than it is to tell when it's going to happen. The accuracy of this method is even higher than regular NFP.

However, I really think the reason you got pregnant while using NFP is that you were praying for another child. God heard your prayer, and He fulfilled it in His own time. After this child is born, entrust your health to Him and ask Him to make sure you don't get pregnant again if it will endanger your life.

If this isn't enough certainty for you, there's only one sure way ... total abstinence. I know it's not something any couple wants to do long-term, but it is better than sin. Besides, even tubal ligation has a 1 in 300 chance of failing and allowing pregnancy. If you're really sure your life would be endangered by another pregnancy, you might want to take the sure course, which is abstinence.


#20

Directive 56 is under the care of the dying it is not talking about birth contro or sterilization it is talking about not using euthanasia or extraordinary measures to kee someone alive when not needed or wanted andwould only cause more pain and suffering. As a matter of fact this link says the opposite about sterilization and says that it will not be performed in Catholic institutions.


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