Not correcting Fertility Issues a Sin?


#1

Here is my situation. My “girly parts” are currently “broken”, and I cannot get pregnant. There is a treatment, and it is easily curable. However, I have three kids, and would like to keep it that way (we are not using artificial birth control and never would). Am I committing a sin by not treating this issue? This issue is not harming me in any way, so the only reason to fix it would be if I wanted to get pregnant again.

Any imput?


#2

It would be my guess that if your body has become “broken” due to natural causes (i.e. you played no part in making yourself infertile/sterile) than I don’t believe the Church could require you to undergo unnecessary surgery.

Even if you DID play a role in your sterility (i.e. like you voluntarily had your tubes tied), as long as you understand why it is a sin and confess the sin, the church cannot ask you to go and have your tubal reversed. Same would go for a man who realizes too late that his vesectomy was not in line with church teaching. I have not heard of a priest requesting a person who has confessed to seek surgery to reverse or correct the problem. I would actually question a priest who would require such a procedure.

Just my opinion though…


#3

[quote=AirForceMama]Here is my situation. My “girly parts” are currently “broken”, and I cannot get pregnant. There is a treatment, and it is easily curable. However, I have three kids, and would like to keep it that way (we are not using artificial birth control and never would). Am I committing a sin by not treating this issue? This issue is not harming me in any way, so the only reason to fix it would be if I wanted to get pregnant again.

Any imput?
[/quote]

You are not required to seek surgery or treatment.

However, if you are approaching your marital life with a contraceptive mentality then you should pray about it and discuss your feelings with your spouse and/or priest. Using even natural family planning with a contraceptive mentality is sinful. I’m NOT saying you are sinning… I’m just saying you might want to examine your feelings about the infertility and the desire to not have any more children.


#4

[quote=1ke]Using even natural family planning with a contraceptive mentality is sinful.
[/quote]

If this is true, then why do we have NFP at all? Isn’t it to be able to get pregnant when we want to, and not when we don’t, it’s a natural contraceptive?


#5

[quote=AirForceMama]If this is true, then why do we have NFP at all? Isn’t it to be able to get pregnant when we want to, and not when we don’t, it’s a natural contraceptive?
[/quote]

Yo, AirForce. :wave: NFP is NOT contra-ceptive. Periodic abstinence does not thwart, distort, or deflect a natural human act of intercourse. NFP **is **natural birth control but it is not contraceptive. The distinction is subtle but it is crucial.

As others have posted, generally, surgery (which is an assaultive act, even when well-intended) is generally not morally required to correct a condition such as you describe.


#6

[quote=AirForceMama]If this is true, then why do we have NFP at all? Isn’t it to be able to get pregnant when we want to, and not when we don’t, it’s a natural contraceptive?
[/quote]

Yo, AirForce. :wave: NFP is NOT contra-ceptive. Periodic abstinence does not thwart, distort, or deflect a natural human act of intercourse. NFP **is **natural birth control but it is not contraceptive. The distinction is subtle but it is crucial. (The subtitle of Humanae Vitae is: “On the Regulation of Birth.” )

As others have posted, generally, surgery (which is an assaultive act, even when well-intended) is generally not morally required to correct a condition such as you describe.


#7

[quote=mercygate]Yo, AirForce. NFP is NOT contra-ceptive. Periodic abstinence does not thwart, distort, or deflect a natural human act of intercourse. NFP **is **natural birth control but it is not contraceptive. The distinction is subtle but it is crucial
[/quote]

However, as 1ke pointed out, NFP is not morally acceptable in all circumstances. The way you worded it, I fear some people might think it is.

Couples need a valid reason to use NFP. Using NFP without such reason is effectively contraceptive in mentality.


#8

[quote=Timidity]However, as 1ke pointed out, NFP is not morally acceptable in all circumstances. The way you worded it, I fear some people might think it is.

Couples need a valid reason to use NFP. Using NFP without such reason is effectively contraceptive in mentality.
[/quote]

You are absolutely correct, and I appreciate the clarification here. Your point is crucial. According to Humanae Vitae:

With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.


#9

So what are the correct reasons to use NFP?


#10

[quote=AirForceMama]So what are the correct reasons to use NFP?
[/quote]

There are dozens and it will depend on your personal situation. Some possibilities are: illness of one of the parents, illness of another family member, high risk pregnancy, genetic history, financial hardship, advanced age, to space the births, a dangerous living situation, exposure to something that would cause birth defect. All are good reasons.

The point is, that given a particular situation, after prayerful consideration, a couple can chose to delay having another child using natural means.

There are not absolute “correct” reasons. The situation that makes a good reason one month might not exist or be as serious another time.


#11

[quote=AirForceMama]So what are the correct reasons to use NFP?
[/quote]

Mercygate gave one quote from Humanae Vitae. The other wording from the same document is “…well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances…”

As kmktexas said, there really isn’t a laundry list of reasons, nor should there be. Nor do I believe that anyone needs to justify their decision to anyone other than their confessor/advisor and God.

I highly recommend reading Humanae Vitae. It’s not that long (31 paragraphs), and I linked to it above.


#12

Here is something to prayerfullly consider.

[quote=st_felicity]1 Tim.2:15

But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self control.

Rom 1:24-25

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degredation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and and worshipped the creature rather than the creator…

Sound’s like we should have children, and live God’s truth w/out degrading our bodies with the lie of contraception to me…:smiley:
[/quote]


#13

When NFP can be used validly can be tricky water for some to navigate. It is best to contemplate what the heck marriage and the marital act are for. The marital act and having babies go hand-in-hand. Not absolutely (because not every act results in a baby) but normatively. To engage in the act is a complete giving of one’s self to the other and to God (a sacrifice). God put marriage, sex and children together and let no man put it asunder.

If you want to really nuance it, take a look at Ott’s Fundamentals. The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children. The secondary purpose is the legitimate satisfaction of the sex urge. As the conditions for children are not always present one can move from the primary to the secondary without trouble.

When we machinate to deliberately exclude children through any means (ie, we are engaging in an act and trying to thwart the natural consequences), we are trying to eliminate the primary and make the secondary primary. We are doing something disordered. We are trying to pull apart what God has put together.

Scott


#14

[quote=Timidity]Using NFP without such reason is effectively contraceptive in mentality.
[/quote]

NFP is not contraception so how can one use it with a contraceptive mentality? Contracepting is sinning and NFP is not. If one is using NFP, how are they sinning? —KCT


#15

[quote=KCT]NFP is not contraception so how can one use it with a contraceptive mentality? Contracepting is sinning and NFP is not. If one is using NFP, how are they sinning? —KCT
[/quote]

If I were to use nfp to postpone a pregnancy simply because I wanted to focus our family finances on decorating our house and outfitting it with nice furniture, that would be an example of a contraceptive mentality. That’s postponing children for something material and selfish - a pretty clear example. On the other hand, using nfp to avoid a pregnancy because your husband is completing grad school to get a better job that would allow him to provide for the family, while in the meantime finances are tight, could be an example of using nfp for the right reasons. I think using nfp makes it much simpler to examine one’s motives because you get to decide each month during your fertile phase what your reasons might be for trying/avoiding pregnancy. But, it could be abused if not approached with an open heart to God like many things.


#16

[quote=KCT]Contracepting is sinning and NFP is not. If one is using NFP, how are they sinning?
[/quote]

This is a common misconception. The truth is that using NFP without valid cause is sinful; spacing births is a serious matter and not just a matter of personal preference. Read the quotes given above from Humanae Vitae. Or better yet, read Humanae Vitae itself.


#17

[quote=AirForceMama]If this is true, then why do we have NFP at all? Isn’t it to be able to get pregnant when we want to, and not when we don’t, it’s a natural contraceptive?
[/quote]

First, NFP is NOT contraception.

Periodic abstinence is allowed for serious reasons. Therefore, one must first prayerfully discern, together with one’s spouse, a serious reason to use it to avoid pregnancy.


#18

So what everyone is basically saying that if a couple uses NFP so they won’t have any more kids, then this is sinful?


#19

[quote=goravens]If I were to use nfp to postpone a pregnancy simply because I wanted to focus our family finances on decorating our house and outfitting it with nice furniture, that would be an example of a contraceptive mentality.
[/quote]

The act of using NFP and remaining open to life is not sinning. Not wanting a child can be selfish, but it’s got nothing to do with NFP. —KCT


#20

[quote=wabrams]So what everyone is basically saying that if a couple uses NFP so they won’t have any more kids, then this is sinful?
[/quote]

What we are saying is that NFP can be used **only ** for serious reasons. If the couple does not have a serious reason to use it then yes, they might be sinning.

Serious reasons can only be determined through prayer, discernment, and proper conscience formation. It is specific to the couple. But, serious means serious-- not frivolous.

Proper conscience formation should begin with the Catechism and encyclicals such as Casti Conubii and Humanae Vitae. The Church provides much specific guidance for couples:

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.[153] “**Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life ** and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility.”[154]

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. **It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality: **

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.[155]


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