NaproTechnology Endometriosis and the Pill


I’m looking for some advice to help a friend. I’m hoping someone on here has some experience with this.

My friend is a confirmed Catholic, but is not practicing. She spent many years on the Pill, but stopped using it due to adverse side effects (mostly emotional/psychological). She was trying to conceive for two years, using various methods. I urged her to see a NaproTechnology doc, but she stuck with her own fertility specialist. Her doctors finally diagnosed her with endometriosis. She had surgery and became pregnant a couple of months later. Now she has a baby. Her doctor has told her that if she does not want to become pregnant again right away (which she does not), she will have to go back on the Pill to keep the endometriosis at bay. She doesn’t want to do this, either.

I’m not very familiar with endometriosis, but I think there must be another way to control it other than birth control. I said as much to her and she said quite positively, “No, there isn’t.”

Any advice would be great or if you know of somewhere I can find such information, that would also be appreciated.

Thank you.

I have moderate to severe Endometriosis. It can be surgically removed, but also can start regrowing as soon as your cycles start back up. The only morally permissible option is wait and see and if it does grow back, to have it surgically removed again. I wish there were some good news for your friend, but there just isn’t. :frowning:

That being said, the Catholic Church teaches that the birth control pill can be legitimately used for it’s medicinal properties, as long as the spouses agree to total abstinence from all marital relations (ie sex). Which in this case would be until it was safe for them to get pregnant again. If the woman is single, then she should already be abstaining and it wouldn’t be an issue. The reason the Church is so against the birth control pills is that not only do they make sex incapable of procreation, but they can also cause early pregnancy termination (ie abortion,) hence why married couples must abstain while on the birth control pill used for medical reasons.

I really am sorry, believe me I know from personal experience how incredibly hard this is. Personally, we chose to NOT use the birth control pill and just wait and see what happens. If it grows back, I will just get another surgery. :shrug:

Yes, NaPro technology can help her, but only if she is willing:

This is correct–that is, it is moral to use medications that have a contraceptive effect when the primary goal is not to avoid pregnancy, particularly when a medical treatment without that side effect doesn’t exist.

As far as what other options exist to control endometriosis, that is a medical question beyond the scope of what we’re allowed to answer on this forum. Just to clarify, I don’t mean to correct you, Convert. It’s not wrong for someone to say, “well, I had that treatment for that particular issue, and in my case these options would have been morally permissible (or whatever it was), and here is why and I made such-and-so choice and here is why”. I’m only clarifying that while we can talk about human biology in general and moral law and personal anecdotes and broadly what is out there in the world of medicine, we are not allowed under forum rules to imply we have the expertise to give medical advice to anyone.

1ke: NaPro can cure Endometriosis permanently? :eek: That would be so awesome. :bounce: Do they take most insurances and all?

Oh heavens I wasn’t meaning to do anything wrong here. I wasn’t trying to give medical advice, if I did I’m sorry. I just have personal experience with this beast of an illness and we haven’t found anyone with a morally acceptable treatment available, except the surgery. :frowning: I really hope they DO find something that can cure Endometriosis, and if they do to PM me lickity split! :thumbsup:

No. The Church does not actually teach this. Lots of people on this forum say that the Church teaches this, but actually it does not.

It doesn’t? Can you cite where you got that from. I really, REALLY would like to know because I have been told otherwise by priests and deacons and could quite possibly need this permission to have relations if we ever choose to use the pill for my condition. :slight_smile:

This is incorrect. Couples are not in any way obligated to abstain from intimacy if the pill is being used for purposes other than contraception. If the contraceptive result is not the aim, the principles of double effect come into play. Catholic couples need not fear that they are sinning if they have relations while using the Pill for real medicinal reasons.

Again, I am shocked but would LOVE to be wrong on this! :smiley: Do you know the document that comes from? I’d really like to read it for myself…I struggle with acceptance if I don’t read it for myself. :o

There is no document that states one must abstain from relations in this situation, therefore I cannot produce such a document.

What I can tell you is that Humanae Vitae says this:

*15. 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.
One must use one’s judgment under the Principle of Double Effect. Because it is not merely the prevention of conception but the possible (not certain) early abortifacient effect one must really look at the proportionality-- for example, the Pill used for acne is not proportional to the seriousness of the possible impact of marital intimacy while on the Pill. However more serious medical condition certainly might.

Moral theologians come down on BOTH sides of this particular issue. I am not saying that it is to be taken lightly or that a couple wouldn’t prayerfully come to the decision to abstain after discussing the situation, but what I am saying is that the Church has no teaching requiring such.

I can’t give you permission, and they can’t either. You and your spouse must prayerfully discern your unique situation under the principle of double effect.

It is in Humane Vitae itself.

Look at Lawful Therapeutic Means.

I have always scratched my head on why people thought abstinence was necessary. Why would the Holy Father include this segment if it was addressed to the single and/or abstinent? You cannot possibly contracept without sex!

Sorry for the duplicative efforts 1ke. Not trying to steal your thunder.

You are not stealing anyone’s thunder.

That’s okay. No worries. :wink:

I can’t give you permission, and they can’t either. You and your spouse must prayerfully discern your unique situation under the principle of double effect.

Aww nuts! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

We really do feel that not taking the pill and just seeing what happens (getting a subsequent surgery if need be) is best for us. So, in my case I guess it isn’t serious enough yet or I wouldn’t need to ask. :o

That being said, this does give me more confidence that the medications I take for my mental illnesses (which can cause POTENTIAL harm to the unborn baby) are morally justified by this principle of double affect. So your post was VERY helpful. Thanks! :thumbsup:

I hope these links are helpful to you and others.


Sorry to steal the limelight again…

1ke: you mentioned NaPro technology and Endometriosis. Do they have a means to cure Endometriosis so you don’t have to go on the pill or keep having surgeries? This would be a miracle in my eyes. :thumbsup:

Not that I know of, I did not say they could cure just that they could help the OP’s friend. You would need to contact them to see what they can do for you.

No, no, I really did only mean to clarify that I understood you to be saying “this is my experience” and “this is what is out there” and not “this is what your friend ought to do.” When we give our friends information about medical stuff that may be out there, it is good to let them know that this is just information about what is out there, and that their doctor has to decide what applies to their medical situation. Besides, it is always more polite when talking about someone else’s health to make it clear that you are raising possibilities and not telling them what they “ought” to do. Getting bombarded with “you ought to do this” advice gets tiring very quickly.

Oh darn! Okay. My RE has exhausted his measures I just thought there might be a sliver of hope here. :o

BTW: if anyone DOES know if NaPro has more options than just surgery for Endometriosis, please post or PM me if you don’t feel comfortable with posting. Thanks. :thumbsup:

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