Medication for mood swings

My wife and I have been married for 13 years and have 4 children. We have practiced NFP throughout our marriage.

My wife has had increased mood swings during her cycle that have led to tension/difficulties in our family. She consulted her doctor who suggested medication that would hopefully stabilize the swings, however, this same medication will also make her infertile. We plan to continue to abstain during the 7 days around her fertile time (as we are not looking to grow our family) so as not to upset our practice of NFP.

Is this against Church teaching? What are some concerns I should have in trying to lead my family?

My wife has said she will try for 3 months and if the mood swings are not significantly better she will stop due to other potential side affects.

Thanks for the replies

I may be wrong, but I believe it depends on the type of medication. I have similar issues, and the birth control pill is always offered to me whenever I ask my docs what to do about it. Are you comfortable stating the type of medication that has been recommended? That might make a difference in the way you practice NFP as well as the moral ramifications of her decision…

If you PM me I can get you the name of a book published by CCL that offers diet/exercise/vitamin supplement suggestions for different cycle-related issues. I have to look it up.

I’m sorry your wife is suffering. I know how frustrating this can be!

Medication for mood swings shouldn’t be a problem. It isn’t like she is taking it as birth control. And if the first one doesn’t work, keep trying until a winner is found. I know only too well what it means to have mood swings. And even worse. But that’s about me. I’ll keep her in my prayers.

Hi this is Sarah the wife of who sent this e-mail.Thank your so much for your advice and for your prayers. It is nice to know I am not the only one. My struggles are probably more severe than my husband described. On my wosrt days I don’t even want to be around any more. The anger and irratablity gets out of control and this is for about two weeks out of the month. I almost don’t recgonize myself. I take lexapro and feel so guilty that I just can’t not think and feel the way I do. I feel like it is becuase i don’t trust God enough or that I am not doing enough in my prayer life. They want to presribe Yaz. I have tried the CCL book about fertility and nutrition, I have tried supplements, change of diet, but it has not worked and these intense up and downs are doing damage to my family. I will basically not being ovulating, but will still abstain Iduring the time of possible ovulation. I will keep you in my prayers too.

You might consider speaking with a Catholic OB/GYN or a Catholic Psychologist before starting YAZ. Your mood swings might be more than PMDD

Yaz is ABC, so you and your spouse would have to abstain for the entire time you are on this medication-which might be ok in your situation-or it could cause unnecessary stress.

I will pray that God’s Mercy and Goodness carries you through this difficult time.

(keep trying to get lots of rest and avoid becoming overtired-keep trying to eat a healthy diet,and exercise daily-start small, build up-this too shall pass!)

Pray even when you do not feel like it-how wonderful for you that you have such a compassionate Husband!


Could you possibly be bipolar? Talk with you doctor further about other alternatives. And, get a Catholic counselor.

Not being a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist or moral theologian, perhaps I shouldn’t address this.

However, it is my impression that if one requires medication for serious reasons, an incidental effect of which is sterility, it is ok from a moral standpoint to take it if the primary purpose of taking it is not to induce sterility but to deal with the other health issue.

If that were not the case, no married woman could ever take anti-cancer drugs.

I am with those on here who advise getting with a GOOD psychiatrist, preferably a Catholic one. Whatever the proper diagnosis might be, it sounds as if it might not quite be nailed down yet. If the psychiatrist is a good one, likely he or she will also advise getting with a good psychologist (preferably a Catholic one) because people who have a history of brain chemistry effects (and there are a lot of them) have also developed coping mechanisms that do not work properly if the chemistry is straightened out. Many times the person has to learn better ways of dealing with life than the ways they worked out while they were subject to, e.g., the mood swings. It’s like a person who, from birth, has been blind in the left eye. If that eye suddenly gains sight, the person will have to learn how to use that eye advantageously, and will have to “unlearn” the ways he or she developed over the years to know what was going on on the left.

What does ABC mean in terms of the type of medication this is? Why is abstinance necessaryh beyond the normal fertile period?

It’s worth a try. I’m actually surprised that Yaz is promoted as a treatment for mood swings since one of its side effects is depression. I agree with everyone else about consulting a Catholic doctor and psychiatrist. I noticed in the Naprotechology website that they use Prozac and progesterone to treat PMS. I’m not sure if this would be appropriate for your diagnosis.

As far as the OP and whether it is against Church teaching, there have been some other threads about this topic, and the apologists said it is not against Church teaching according to Humanae Vitae 15:

Lawful Therapeutic Means

  1. 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.

Here are some of the threads:

Sorry to hear about your problem.

I have no medical background whatsoever so take this with a huge grain of salt. i know many people who have had great results with a non-prescription drug called "SAM-e.

If your doctor has told you that Yaz will only “prevent ovulation”, that doctor is not telling you then entire story. Ask to see the package insert, and read about the other way Yaz works. You will see that when you do ovulate, and concieve a child, Yaz will cause your body to abort that child by preventing implantation.

Pronunciation: (ETH-in-il ess-tra-DYE-ole/droh-SPYE-re-none)
Brand Name(s): Yasmin 28

YAZ 28 Oral Uses
This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones (drospirenone, a progestin, and ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen). These hormones prevent pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation). They also change the womb and cervical mucus, making it more difficult for an egg to meet sperm (fertilization) or for the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb (implantation)."

Now that you know that this pill will cause abortions, please find a treatment that will cure your body.

just to let you know, we would still obtain for 10 days when ovulation could occur. I have tried many things to cure my body and I don’t appreciate your uncharitable condemnation.

Hi there. I can really relate to your problem. First let me say that I had my tubes tied before I became Catholic. My periods got really bad when I got to my 40s and I started having the same problems you mention. My moods were unbelievable. I was very angry and I remember once when I threw a shoe at my husband and once when I threw iced tea in his face that I didn’t recognize myself (he didn’t either). I had problems at work too though I managed to control myself most of the time. It sometimes took all my self control not to yell at people in lines at stores (like the ones who waitd until the last minue to swipe their card). I did start taking Yasmine, which is a bit stronger than Yaz. I also started taking Effexor (Effexor can do wonders and women seem to have wonderful luck with it - you might want to discuss it with your doctor - I had no negative side effects) becuase I am bipolar with more of a depression issue than mania. It worked for me I’m happy to say. I’m menopausal now and am on neither drug and am doing okay so far (it’s been about 6 mos). I just wanted you to know that someone really understands what those moods are like and how they just sort of take you over. I’m sure God will understand your choice and be with you in your struggle. Peace. :slight_smile:

Just wanted to offer my prayer support. I suffer from sever depression and take medications that are very helpful. Please see a therapist and get your life back.


I can relate to that. Five years ago I had a hysterectomy. This was done because my periods had gotten far out of line. Actually, I was having one problem or other for several years. But what finally happened was that I started having very heavy bleeding and my period lasted 8 days. I had to wear those disposable underpants.

They took everything. The doctor did let me decide about removing the ovaries. I decided I would rather get menopause out of the way than have it down the road. And, yes, my behavior went totally nuts. I’ve over the moodiness and all, and am glad of that.

I am sorry you are hurting.

My reason is charity. So many women are not told the truth. A woman will ovulate on the pill at some point. She will not know when that happens. Do the research and know that God has a better way. Nothing here but charity and prayers that God sends some good advice to you.

Dear Sarah,

So long as the infertility is an unintended side effect of the medication needed to treat a serious illness (and you have my deepest sympathies on your condition) it is not sinful. For the sake of yourself and your family, I would encourage you to gratefully accept the relief from your symptoms that God in His mercy has provided you through this medication.

This is a wonderful time to be alive.

God love you,

Please don’t feel guilty. If you had heart disease or diabetes, would it be because you don’t pray enough or you don’t trust God enough? If you had cancer, would you forego treatment because it would make you sterile? Of course not. It makes me so sad that even now, there is still the unconscious belief that a mental illness is somehow the sufferer’s fault.

It’s not your fault. Please, please listen to your doctor. Do your research and be an informed patient and don’t do anything you feel uncomfortable with. There’s no reason for you to suffer anymore when there are treatments available.

I’m not going to get into my long story of depression and anxiety related to my cycle and my hormones. But, I do know where you’re coming from and know how you feel. I’ve struggled with this for many years. God bless you! :console:

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