My wife has high-risk pregnancies, my doctor advised me to get a vasectomy...what do I do?


I have a question about vasectomies. My wife has a medical condition that would place her health in significant jeopardy if she were to get pregnant again. She has very bad varicose veins. Her doctor feels I should get a vasectomy. What do I do?


I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s medical problems. You both are in my prayers.

The Church teaches that “direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary” is morally wrong (*Humane Vitae * 14). The Catechism (2399) states, “ 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).”

Humane Vitae no. 14:

  1. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that 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. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

I suggest you and your wife contact a NFP doctor in your area. You’ll find a list of recommended physicians at One More Soul

Further reading:

Couple to Couple

Sexual Sterilization

What does the Church teach about Birth Control?

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