NFP question and "The pill" for medical reasons question

Hello,

I have a question on Natural Family Planning and birth control. I have taken the NFP class with my future wife and we both agree and understand the NFP method. My fiancé has been of birth control for more than 3 years now and her cramps and pains continue to get worse. She is going to get back on the pill for medicinal reasons and in good faith and a clear conscience between both of us we have decided for medicinal reasons it would be best. We know the temptation is there to abuse the system when married, but our question is to be in proper accordance with the catholic faith do we need to obstain from sex during times when she is fertile if she is on the pill for medicinal purposes? We will still continue to plot with the NFP chart, but in good conscience are we only allowed to have sex during her non fertile times? I would like to know the proper action as a Catholic and really want to do the right thing and not abuse this. She really needs the pill for her medical reasons and we understand it will limit us and we would like to know Catholic stance on this particular situation we are in… Please help….

Hello,

I have a question on Natural Family Planning and birth control. I have taken the NFP class with my future wife and we both agree and understand the NFP method. My fiancé has been of birth control for more than 3 years now and her cramps and pains continue to get worse. She is going to get back on the pill for medicinal reasons and in good faith and a clear conscience between both of us we have decided for medicinal reasons it would be best. We know the temptation is there to abuse the system when married, but our question is to be in proper accordance with the catholic faith do we need to obstain from sex during times when she is fertile if she is on the pill for medicinal purposes? We will still continue to plot with the NFP chart, but in good conscience are we only allowed to have sex during her non fertile times? I would like to know the proper action as a Catholic and really want to do the right thing and not abuse this. She really needs the pill for her medical reasons and we understand it will limit us and we would like to know Catholic stance on this particular situation we are in… Please help….

EDIT: It appears my earlier comment was mistaken, after doing a little more research.I’ll leave this to someone with better authority to answer.

However, i will note, i’m fairly certain that you cannot track your cycle while on the Pill, because there is no true cycle. I’ve never been on the pill though, so i could be wrong (again. sorry for the confusion, its past my bedtime and starting to show :rolleyes:)

I am not a doctor, so I cannot give medical advice. But I have read that taking birth control pills for medical problems is often a “quick fix” that masks symptoms rather than getting at the cause of the problem. I would recommend that you contact the Pope Paul VI Institute popepaulvi.com/ for a referral to a doctor who can help your fiancee get to the root of the problem.

With regard to the moral question you raise, birth control pills have an abortifacient effect. They do not always prevent conception, and a secondary effect is that they make the uterus hostile to implantation of the embryo. Evidence of this is right in the patient package insert of a typical oral contraceptive (bold emphasis added):

Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation).

Believing as we do that life begins at conception, that means that they can cause early abortions before a woman even knows she is pregnant. So taking the pill when there is any possibility of conception poses a very real moral problem.

The good news is that the same awareness of a women’s fertility symptoms that you learn about in NFP classes can often help a doctor trained in Naprotechnology find out what is causing the medical problems. See naprotechnology.com/ .

God bless you for caring enough to ask these questions.May He lead you and your fiancee to a solution that is good for the two of you both physically and spiritually.

Gunna post my opinion anyway :wink: lol

In the same writings by Pope John Paul II that condemns the use of ABC, he allows for its use for legitimate therapeutic reasons. It’s right there in the same paragraph of Humane Vitae. So don’t let some judgemental people try to tell you you can’t. The highest authority has already spoken! :wink:

I’d advise you guys to check out a clinic (I can’t remember the name right now, but I am sure someone else will come along and post it) that puts women’s health first and tries to treat the underlying problem. If this isn’t an option for whatever reason you may use hormonal treatments.

Oh, sorry I found the clinic’s website here:

popepaulvi.com/ncfwh.htm

Anyway, it’s a very hard cross to carry, using hormonal treatments. Don’t enter into that decision lightly. It’s painful, and there are a lot of judgements and assumptions passed on you. Not to mention the infertility and side effects can be very nasty. Make sure you exhaust all your other options and use it as a last resort. I can’t imagine any other reason a woman would. For many of us, it is our utter last resort. :frowning:

Oh, and no, you can’t track your cycle on the pill at all. It prevents ovulation and messes with your cycle to “regulate” it. Not that you ever have a “real” period, just induced ones.

If you are left only with this treatment, make sure your wife is taking her pill at the same time EVERY DAY to make absolute sure that you don’t run a risk of preventing implantation should ovulation occur. This is just a general precaution women should (ONLY in my OPINION though) take to make sure they are doing all they can to protect their children.

I answered this on your other thread. :slight_smile:

You and your future wife should look into the PPVI institute. popepaulvi.com/

Unfortunately, going on the pill for cycle issues is like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. You aren’t really addressing the underlying issue, just covering up the symptoms.

Good luck on your upcoming marriage.

The Magisterium definitively teaches that intrinsically evil acts, such as the use of contraception, are always immoral, regardless of intention or circumstances.

“Consequently, circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice.”
(Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, n. 81.)

“The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable.”
(Pontifical Council for the Family, Vademecum ‘Go with me’] for Confessors concerning some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, n. 2-4.)

Fail.

From Humae Vitae, published by Pope JohnPaul II

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.

And from CAF’s own apologists:

When taken as necessary for therapeutic reasons, use of “the pill” is not immoral. Humanae Vitae states, “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” (HV 15).

Also, in such circumstances, abstinence is not required. For more on this see the post Pill allowed as an abortifacient?

For alternatives to the pill check out Pope Paul VI Institute.

As I posted above, the use of the pill should only be used as an utter last resort as it has nasty side effects and can be harmful to the mental safety of you two since (as you can already see) you will be facing harsh judgements from people in the church who think that Pope JPII Must really not have had any authority whatsoever to allow for its use for these reasons. :shrug: Frankly, I can’t image a woman on this earth who woul willingly submit herself to it. Just out the institute as others have suggested, and if you find it your only option for whatever reason, be sure you both know that it is not wrong to do so. And don’t let people tell you otherwise. The highest earthly authorti has already declared it okay to use.

Whitacre Girl beat me to it…this is what I posted on the now locked duplicate of this thread:

Contraception is intrinsically evil, but we’re not talking about contraception here.

First off, hormones are morally neutral. If a hormone is deliberately put into the body with the intention of suppressing fertility, that is an act of contraception. The natural object “taking a hormone” is specified as an immoral act by the condition of “to impede conception.” If one takes a hormone to correct a legitimate physical ailment, that is perfectly moral because the natural object “taking a hormone” is specified as a moral act by the condition “for legitimate therapeutic purposes.”

It is the same thing with killing a human being. The natural object “killing a human being” is made moral or immoral by the specifying condition of either “in legitimate self-defense” or “who is innocent.” The principal conditions create two completely separate and distinct types of acts.

His Holiness, Pope Paul VI confirms this in Humanae Vitae when he states: “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. (19)”

Hope this helps to clarify.

Also on the issue of abortifacient issue, from CAF apologists:

This is a very important matter that is widely misunderstood:

The Church considers a miscarriage to be a physical evil. Since abortion DELIBERATELY causes a miscarriage, it is therefore also a MORAL evil. The Church sees an UNintended miscarriage as only a physical evil since it is not deliberately caused by the couple.

The use of the pill for medical reasons may cause an UNintended miscarriage. Women often have unintended miscarriages—sometimes without even knowing it. It is only miscarriages that are INTENDED that the Church considers immoral. The Church never allows the pill to be used as an abortifacient. But it does allow the use of the pill for medical reasons with the possiblity of producing an unintended miscarriage—without obliging the couple to abstain from sexual relations during that time.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

My draw is quicker than yours :wink: LOL

The problem, in that other thread, was confusion between “therapeutic” and “surgical”. Surgery is one form of therapy. Pharmacological therapy is another one (drugs, chemotherapy).

I’m no expert on the matter so will refrain from pontificating, but I thought this should be clarified in case it comes up again, so that we work with the right definitions :smiley:

Certainly HV does not appear to specify what kind of therapy it was referring to.

Actually, therapeutic here would also include surgery, that’s why a general term would be used.

Take for example the removal of an ovary due to disease…If an ovary is removed as a therapy to cure a disease, it is moral. If it is removed in order to render a woman infertile as a means of contraception, then it is immoral.

That’s what I meant. “Therapeutic” is a general term and therapy can be drug, surgical, exercise, physiotherapy, or any other manner of therapy designed to cure or relieve the symptoms of a disease. HV used a general term. therefore one cannot claim that the Pope only meant surgery, but certainly surgery is one of the therapies covered by what the Pope said.

The Latin term used by Pope Paul VI was “medendi rationes” which basically means “healing method” which of course would mean “therapeutic” and would include any type of medical activity that seeks to heal the body.

By your logic, if someone came up with a definitive cure for breast cancer that was also contraceptive, it would be immoral to take the drug. You’d rather see people lose their mothers and wives than have them healthy and alive. You’d rather your wife suffer debilitating pain than take a contraceptive pill to relieve it. You betray an utter lack of consideration for the mental and physical well-being of women in general.

You have this weird fixation on scrupulous (and false) sexual ethics and in fact it is quite clear by now that you’re a misogynist. Get help.

It would be moral to take a cure or treatment that also had the effect of being contraceptive as long as the person refrained from sexual relations while on the medication. And this is the case also with the use of BCP for theraputic motives.

However, the decision to engage in sexual relations knowing that the act is contracepted and is non-procreative is a separate decision from the choice of taking a medication. If the woman takes the medication and does not engage in sexual relations, then it is not a contraceptive. But if she takes it and engages in sexual relations, she is choosing contracepted sexual acts. Such acts have been clearly and definitively condemned as intrinsically evil.

The passage several posters have quoted above, from Humanae Vitae, must be interpreted in the light of other definitive teachings of the Magisterium. To interpret that passage as permitting contraception, when the whole of that same document, and many passages in other documents, condemn contraception as intrinsically evil is obviously an untenable interpretation.

I’m sure his hearts in the right place. It’s just a complete misunderstanding (or lack of awareness) of the basic Church teaching going back to Aquinas on moral acts.

Here’s a few examples of the way principal conditions (often ambiguously translated as “circumstance” - which the liberal proportionalists just love) specify moral acts:

Act = Sexual Intercourse = morally indifferent

Add “with spouse” = morally good

Add “with non-spouse” = morally evil

Act = Killing a human being = morally indifferent

Add “innocent” = morally evil

Add “in self-defense” = morally good

Act = Taking a Hormone Pill = morally indifferent

Add “to cure disease” = morally good

Add “to contracept” = morally evil

I’m sure we could go on and on.

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