Sterilized myself


I went through RCIA a few years ago, and was confirmed into the church on March 26, 2005. Before I joined the church, I sterilized myself through vasectomy. I brought all this up in my first confession. It is a terrible grave sin. Here are my questions / comments:

  1. Not only have I brought this up once in confession, but TWICE! Now, I’m starting to think that its an even greater sin to confess twice, than the actual sin itself, as if I am not trusting in God’s mercy.

  2. Is it a sin every time my wife and I have sex?

  3. I am not sure on church teaching about the necessity to reverse the vasectomy. Is this a requirement, or a voluntary act? Certainly, I would like to do this, but I called a doctor that was referred by my GP, and the cost was around $9,000. I don’t have that kind of cash lying around. If I did, would it be selfish of me to spend it on this, or give it instead to the poor, sick, or other Catholic Charity? I’ve started a little “vasectomy reversal fund”, and put everything I can into it.

Like I said in the beginning, I knew it was wrong at the time. Yet, as my faith gets stronger, and my friendship with the Lord grows, I realize just how (can’t even think of the right adjective) wrong it was for me to do this. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways; wonderful wife, 4 kids, great job, roof over our heads, fantastic Catholic parish 5 minutes away, food in our stomachs, and I sterilize myself! I know all my sins pierce the Lord, but I feel this one especially did.

I guess I’m not letting myself be forgiven…

What is your opinion / suggestion?

Peace be with you…


If you are sincerely sorry, then no, its not a sin to have sex with your wife. You confessed and God has forgiven you.

I found this quote by going to (when you have time I suggest you go there and look around) and typing “vasectomy” into the search bar. It came up as a “quick questions” list of Q&A:

"Q: Am I correct in assuming that a Catholic husband who has had a vasectomy cannot receive Communion? If that is true, what is the remedy? Obviously, reversal cannot always be accomplished.

A: A vasectomy constitutes grave matter. Together with full knowledge of the gravity of the action and full and free consent to the action, a mortal sin is committed. Assuming these conditions were met, the remedy is the same as for any mortal sin: the sacrament of reconciliation, through which a person is restored to a state of grace and may again receive Communion. The Church does not require that a sterilized man attempt to reverse the vasectomy. But if he chooses to do so, he might wish to contact One More Soul at "

If you are having guilt issues, I would definitely seek out a time to sit and talk about it with your priest or a holy man you go to church with. Guilt can be a good thing. It shows that you are truly sorry and morn the loss of your fertility and that you want to be right with God.

God bless you! You’re on the right track!


There are many more people here more knowledgeable than me, but here goes.

  1. If you’re anything like me, you brought it up in confession because you wanted to be told what you should do - if you didn’t get that information the first time, I totally get why you felt the need to confess again. I wouldn’t worry about this too much.

  2. No. You have asked for forgiveness for your sterilization and have been absolved of the sin.

  3. Reversal is not required. You certainly will have to discern whether you are called to have a reversal, but that is not a requirement. I think donating money to a worthy charity is a good idea if you and your wife prayerfully decide that a reversal is not what God is calling you to. You might also consider learning NFP and abstaining on your wife’s fertile days. I know some couples who have been sterilized and then came to the faith do this.

You are in my prayers.



and what are your wife’s feelings on this matter?

if you sincerely confessed and amend your ways (in this case you wouldn’t do it again if you could go back), then you are forgiven
you do not have to get a reversal, but if you feel so led, then there is nothing wrong with doing so

again what is your wife’s opinion on this? does she want you to get a reversal? does she want more children? does she regret your getting the vas?

**remember you are not one person, your united with 2 others - your wife and God - and therefore you shouldn’t make such choices with out consulting them.:slight_smile: **


For me, the key to your question is you did this procedure BEFORE you entered the Church.

Were you baptized when you received your first Communion? If so, all prior sin was forgiven then and there.

best. deal. EVER!


Anonymoususer, In Isiah 58, it is said:

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, *
so far has he removed our sins from us.

You are forgiven! Don’t dwell on past sins.


The nice thing about being Catholic and going to confession is that when the priest tells us our sins have been forgiven, we can count on it. Maybe spend some time talking to God and telling him that you gratefully accept his mercy and forgiveness.

As far as the reversal, that would be something you would need to discern. Given the cost it might not be the best solution for the family that you already have; however, if you think you might want to consider a reversal, look for a doctor that specializes in it, that will greatly reduce the cost. The website has a list of doctors who specialize. I looked at the website for one doctor in North Carolina who specializes and charges just $5400. That’s considerably better than $9K.


I also think that it is OK to feel sad sometimes, even after confession. We do still have to live with the effects of our sin after all.


I too am a convert, and something you need to remember, is that you are not held accountable for what you did before you converted in the same way you would be held accountable for it now. One of the requirements for mortal sin is that you have full knowledge at the time you commit the sin and still proceed to engage in the sin. You did this before you were catholic, which means that you did not know or believe at the time that you were sinning, therefore it is not a mortal sin. You have still confessed and God has given you absolution through the priest. If you are still feeling guilt, try talking to yoru sponsor, your priest, or the director of your RCIA program, I’m sure you are not the first person to have this problem and they may be able to help you.


It has already been said, but you have been forgiven in Confession. What you need now is healing, to forgive yourself. Maybe sitting before Jesus, you can ask Him to pour His love into you to allow you to forgive and love yourself, and accept His love and forgiveness. God bless you!


i know EXACTLY how you are feeling! my husband had a vasectomy also before coming into the church, he confessed it and was totally forgiven. BUT like you, the feeling of having a reversal would NOT go away. what happened was I also started wanting it to be reversed (even though i have HORRIBLE pregnancies) and he started getting MAJOR pains when the act was being completed. BOTH of us felt horrible after the marital act. he went to dr and dr gave him pills… still the pain continued. and so did the desire for a reversal. we had 3 young children, owned a business (not much of a money maker but paid the bills), and had no extra cash for a $3,000 reversal (at the time, 10 years ago). We fully trusted Jesus to reveal to us what to do. We prayed for one year than took a leap of faith and my dh set the date for the reversal. We still had NO extra money for it, but trusted Jesus to supply it. (THAT took sooooo much trust) well, the day before all the money had to be paid out, in our mailbox was a cheque for $3,000!!! (it was from a company we had written off paying us 2 years previously who we did not even communicate with anymore) So the next day, he went in and had the 3 hour long surgery (no one in our families was told what we were longing for, praying about, and now completing because not ONE of them would understand… lol, they still don’t get it) make a long story short, 3 months later i had another child on the way (you should have seen the shocked faces, lol) and have had a total of 5 since the reversal. both of us are VERY happy we reversed it and have 8 children and we’d both do it all over again.
We still live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes wonder how in the heck are bills gonna get paid… but God ALWAYS provides what the NEEDS are for our family… not the wants so much though, lol
TRUST Jesus that your sin is forgiven and give yourself the time for prayer about any life altering decision you’ll make. Most importantly, make sure your wife is inagreement with any choice you make before you do it.
Sometimes after much prayer and nuggings of the heart, you have to take a leap of faith. I’ve thought many times of that leap we took. The first of many since! :thumbsup:


My husband had his vasectomy reversed one month before we joined the Church. We were told that it was not required, but we decided that it was important to us. It was unsuccessful, but we are glad that we had the procedure done.

$9,000 is extremely expensive. There are many doctors who don’t charge even half that. Check out ; they might be able to put you in touch with doctors who perform reversals as a ministry.

Just because you have a reversal done does not mean it will be successful. You should be prepared for that, as it can give you a lot of heartache, more than you can ever imagine from your current position.


The list of vasectomy reversal doctors is at:

Here is a site for vasectomy reversal success rates and their determinants:

I thought this chart was pretty interesting:

Years Between Vasectomy… Sperm Return …Pregnancy Rate
Under 3 years… 97%… 76%
3-8 years… 88% …53%
9-14 years …79% …44%
Greater than 15 years …71% …30%

I also found this at the last site listed:

Total cost can be somewhere between $4,000 to $20,000, all inclusive. In the United States, US$10,000 will be the average and in Canada, CAN$5,000 is the average all inclusive price.

You will want to investigate the complete costs that will be applicable - start to finish - for the vasectomy reversal. There are generally three fees the patient is responsible for:

The surgical fee
This is the fee the surgeon charges for his work. This ranges from $2500 to $10,000.

The anesthetic fee
This is the charge the anesthetist passes on for the administration of the regional or general anesthetic. This ranges from $2500 and $5,000.

The hospital fee
This fee includes all the costs the hospital passes on during your stay for the day or two that you are admitted, and usually includes the cost of lab testing that is required. This ranges from $2500 and $5000.
It is possible to have a vasectomy reversal for significantly less cost. There are physicians who will perform a reversal under local anesthetic in their offices for in the neighborhood of $4000. However, should more invasive or extensive work be required their abilities to perform this may be limited.

May God :blessyou: in whatever you prayfully choose to do.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit