On Contraception

Is it possible to be on The Pill but for the purposes/reasons other than taking getting an orgasm without responsibility? If so, and one is using The Pill for those reasons is it necessarily a sin? :confused:

What reason would you need to be on the pill? I suppose if you took it to alleviate menstrual symptoms but remained chaste, then it would be all right, but I don’t really know. Ask your priest.

Hormones taken for medicinal purposes are licit, even when they also have the foreseeable but unintended side effect of impairing fertility. Spouses who are taking such medication are not required to abstain from marital relations.

Oh well I am a guy, so I have no reason, but a woman friend of mine was curious. But this I will take for her:

“Hormones taken for medicinal purposes are licit, even when they also have the foreseeable but unintended side effect of impairing fertility. Spouses who are taking such medication are not required to abstain from marital relations.”

It is licit to take the pill for hormonal reasons, and married women who do so are not obliged to abstain. It is also licit to take the pill for painful periods, however women who do this must abstain.

As a woman who was encouraged to go on the pill for it’s medical benefits, I could not in good conscious take the pill once I got married. I looked for other means to manage my issues because they were not serious enough in my mind to warrant the chances of aborting a baby. I have to say that the pill is a very enticing drug to manage female problems. The above post is true, “Hormones taken for medicinal purposes are licit” but please look toward other means if at all possible rather than take the pill.

This is a very difficult time for young ladies since it seems the culture has young women on the pill starting in their teens rather than teaching them Natural Family Planning which shows a woman how to monitor their signs of fertility and ovulation. I wish so much that NFP was offered to me as a teen so I could know when my ovulation was delayed and when it wasn’t. It would have made life a lot easier to manage, and knowing when my period was going to happen would have given me a head start on the meds rather than waiting until the pain was happening.

My wife has to take the pill (a very low dosage) for prevention and the alleviation of pain of ovarian cysts. It has served her well, and since it is a very low dosage, the doctor says that it will not prevent implantation if such were to happen (so no accidental abortions)!

In short, as others have said. The Church allows the use of the pill (or varieties thereof) for real medical purposes, but never allows it for the prevention of conceiving.

No, this is not correct. If the drug is being used as medicine, even for pain relief, it is not a contraceptive and spouses are not required to abstain.

It’s correct. It is never morally permissible to make the prevention of ovulation on the part of a sexually active woman the direct object of an act. If a woman’s intention in taking the pill is to prevent ovulation, then she must not be sexually active.

Firstly, you’ve made a false and arbitrary distinction between “hormonal reasons” and “painful periods”. When it comes to female fertility cycle, it’s all hormonally related.

Secondly, you are incorrect that someone taking the pill for pain management is required to abstain. The objective is to treat the pain; the unintended secondary effect is inhibited fertility. The pain must be sufficient that the treatment of it is considered appropriate proportional to the bad effects, which can be a hard decision to weigh, but for some women this is certainly appropriate.

The direct object of the act (in most cases) is to prevent ovulation, the elimination of pain is a result of this. The prevention of ovulation is only morally licit as a means if it does not frustrate the marital act.

If the intention is to prevent conception, then this is true.

This is not true. A person seeking to address a medical problem, including pain, is not taking the drug for contraceptive purposes.

devoutchristian, we need to ask why the drug is being taken. If the answer is “to not get pregnant” it is illicit. If the answer is “to reduce pain, address a hormonal deficiency, or treat a medical issue” then it is licit, even if we know the drug also stops ovulation.

No, it’s to prevent the hormonal imbalances that cause or trigger the medical condition. It just so happens that when you do this, ovulation is prevented. That’s why it’s an unavoidable secondary effect. If these could be disentangled, the moral considerations would be different, but at the moment there are certain medical conditions that for certain women are best treated with hormonal contraceptives (and for some women there may be better alternatives). Such women should not fear that they do anything wrong or are required to abstain from marital relations.

I’m talking specifically about cases where prevention of ovulation is the solution to the problem, rather than a secondary effect.

Certain hormonal treatments have the effect of supressing the fertility cycle overall, which of course has the effect of supressing ovulation. This may be necessary in certain cases to treat certain conditions, but the intention is to treat the condition, not inhibit fertility.

It is only when ovulation is prevented as a way of avoiding a possible pregnancy that it is ilicit. For example, when someone is on a medication known to potentially cause birth defects, many doctors will prescribe contraception, but this is not licit. Is that what you mean?

If the direct object of the act is to prevent ovulation, then it is not licit to have sex while on it, that is what I mean.

Sorry, I still don’t know what you mean.

Here is what I mean…

A woman who takes the pill (or other hormonal treatment) for the sole purpose of preventing pain associated with her cycle (eg PCOS, endometriosis, extreme dysmenorrhoea) is allowed to engage in marital relations with her husband.

Her direct intent is to prevent ovulation, any marital act that occurred would thereby be frustrated.

Her direct intent is to treat her medical condition. Her inhibited fertility is an unintended secondary effect. Any marital act would indeed be frustrated, but not deliberately. There is no onus on her to abstain.

I recommend you read the following to better understand the Church’s position on this:




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