Tubal ligation


Before I ask my question, I did want to say that I will also be consulting a priest about this major decision. As some of you know from my old post, I have one child who is 7 yr. old and really would love to have more, but have physical reasons why I can’t. It is my bad, bad back pain. Any, I am now 41 yr. old and having excessive bleeding with my periods for months now. I am anemic and on iron. I saw my Gyn doctor and she gave me these help that do help to slow down the flow, but says that I am still anemic. She gave three months supply and then ordered a blood test. I just saw her yesterday. She recommends an enodometrial ablation procedure. She said that I can not get pregnant for it could be life threatening for it will be a tubal pregnancy. The uterus will no longer tolerate a pregnancy after this procedure. She then recommended a tubal ligation. I told her that I have been doing NFP for so long and no pregancy, so that was not needed, but I will be honest and have had pass “scares” that I might be pregnant, but never was. Is a tubal ligation fine in a case like this, where I can not get pregnant for medical reasons at all? She did tell me that 10 % of women who have this done, nothing changes and continue with heavy flows. Should I just stick it out and hope that the flow will decrease eventually? My only concern is the anemia that has been the source of my fatigue for so long, even on iron.


If the tubal ligation is not part of a medical treatment for the problem you describe meaning it doesn not treat the rpoblem only prevents pregnancy no it is not permitted.

I will die if I get pregnant again and I use NFP. If by scares you mean your period came later than you thought then whether you were scared or not has nothing to do with it’s accuracy. If you mean you bent the rules and and sex during a more likely fertile time than you need to be resolute not to do that. The fact that you could die should definately help your resolve in the matter. And you need to go with the very conservative guidelines cosidering the graveness of the situation…


hi nana, I have problems being anemic as well and on top of that, a few health problems myself. DH & I have to avoid a pregnancy. My ob/gyn suggested to me a hysterectomy in Dec. to avoid getting pregnant. I nearly hit the roof because he knows that I use NFP.

My other doctors supported me in not having the surgery because I have many adhesions already from previous surgeries and they wouldn’t consider opening me up unless it was life and death. As for the anemia, my hematologist gave me an iron infusion in her office and I am no longer anemic. I have blood work done every 6-9 months and when the iron is low, she just schedules me for another infusion. It’s helped ever since.

My health symptoms do worsen around that time of the month but I am on pain medication to make me comfortable. Are you able to get a 2nd opinion from another doctor to see if there are other alternatives? You are entitled to that as a pt. I wish you the best of health and you will be in my prayers. God Bless, Lisa


It is OK to have a hysterectomy if there is a need for it. My sister had one because of a medical condition as did my aunt. I think you need to explain in detail what the doctor said and ask the forum apologist for correct church teaching and/or give Catholic Answers a phone call. Please mention the tubal pregnancy as there may be a teaching on that. Also definitely talk with your priest.

I wonder if you have tried exercise. I was having bleeding during monthly cycles that would go for 10-15 days. I don’t have endometriosis. I just happen to at that time to start a 3-5 day exercise program at a gym and my cycles went back to a normal span within a short period of time, within a few months. I didn’t expect that to happen.


by itself the tubal will not reduce or help your symptoms. Have whatever procedures or medications will help the actual underlying problems, not just address symptoms. If you can make it to menopause with your reproductive organs intact you will be much healthier in general, but if hysterectomy or lesser surgeries are indicated, do it if your symptoms become life-threatening, as anemia can be. If being infertile is an unintended side effect of such surgery, that is not immoral in and of itself. But please research all options, I wish I had.


So sorry to hear about all you’re going through…

If the doctor recommends a hysterectomy to remedy this problem, like gam said, that is fine. The unintended side effect of sterility is just that - an unintended side effect.

The problem with your situation is that your doctor did not recommend a hysterectomy, rather a tubal so you would not get pregnant in the future. So the surgery’s intent is to make you sterile for the sake of avoiding pregnancy. That is wrong.

If would be different if your tubes had some pathological problem and had to be removed - again, unintended sterility would result. But intentionally seeking out sterility by having a tubal ligation (as your doctor is wanting you to do) is the problem here.

God’s grace be with you!


Here is an official and authoritative response to your question about what is morally permissible. Note: When consulting a priest, I would present this piece if the counsel offered is otherwise, as unfortunately too often a priest is either ill informed or is offering an immoral “pastoral solution” to a difficult problem involving morality.



The Cardinal Members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in answer to the questions examined in ordinary session decreed the following replies:

**Q. **2.When the uterus (e.g., as a result of previous Caesarian sections) is in a state such that while not constituting in itself a present risk to the life or health of the woman, nevertheless is foreseeably incapable of carrying a future pregnancy to term without danger to the mother, danger which in some cases could be serious, is it licit to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) in order to prevent a possible future danger deriving from conception?

R. Negative.

**Q. **3.In the same situation as in no. 2, is it licit to substitute tubal ligation, also called “uterine isolation,” for the hysterectomy, since the same end would be attained of averting the risks of a possible pregnancy by means of a procedure which is much simpler for the doctor and less serious for the woman, and since in addition, in some cases, the ensuing sterility might be reversible?

**R. **Negative



She recommends an enodometrial ablation procedure.

Ask your doctor how common a ectopic pregnancies are after this procedure. If it’s not any greater than the general population then you’ve nothing to worry about. I understand that this procedure prevent uterine implantation but I’d have to see evidence that the procedure also increases the incidents of tubal pregnancies.

I would also ask your doctor (or better yet and NFP person) if NFP can still be practiced after this procedure. My understanding is this procedure makes it impossible for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. But evidently it doesn’t make it impossible for an egg to get fertilized. Therefore any children you conceive afterwards will die. As a result you may still wish to avoid relations during fertile phases. Perhaps you’re even obliged to abstain during fertile phases. I don’t know.


If I understand this correctly, the Church is saying that although getting pregnant again might very well threaten the mother because of a weaken uterus, its not permitted to have the uterus removed or have a tubal?

Since contraception is not an option, they expect either the mother to potentially risk her life, to abstain from sex, or practice NFP? Of course in this case, NFP is being done to purposely prevent pregnancy.

Is this really what is being said?


Not at all. What the Church is saying that at all costs and sacrifice one may not violate natural moral law when the lesser of two evils is absent. To purport or counsel otherwise is a distorted compassion, false love and denigrates the dignity of the person made in the image and likeness of God.

I suggest that you read up on NFP to appreciate the difference between properly used NFP and contraceptive intercourse.


Wow, my bleeding is not at all this bad. I do not understand now why my doctor would recommend this procedure. I use to have periods that lasted only 3 days. They last now 6 days and maybe 7. The first four days being the heaviest. I know my anemia is not that bad for when it was a doctor said he would try iron pills first and if it did not go up that I would need a blood transfusion. I never needed the transfusion. I think I will get a second opinion on this before I may up my mind about having this procedure. I know that when the nurse called me from this doctors office about a week before my appointment she said that I was just “a little low, by one point.” When I saw the doctor she said that I was still very anemic and needed to do something about it. Maybe she exagerated and she also should have in my records that I use NFP and still she mentioned tubal ligation and told me that I could not at all get pregnant for it would ectopic.

After writing this thread to all of you, I researched this procedure on the internet and found no mention of ectopic pregnancy. They did say that pregnancy could still happen but it would endanger the life of the mother and baby. No mention of ectopic pregnancy. Like I said and someone recommended here, a second opionion is in order.

Thanks to all of you for your words of wisdom and advice. Thanks so much. For now, I will continue to take my iron and make an appointment with another Gyn doctor and of course, continue NFP. You know my biggest disappointment with all this was that I could not have any more children. Even though I know I could not probably take care of a baby easily, it could be done with much pain and suffering. I don’t know if carrying the baby would cause paralysis, but didn’t want to take that chance. I still have a little girl to raise. Now that I think about it, this doctor also told me that I was going on 42 yr. old and too old to have a baby anyway. I was just stung with the first news she gave me that that statement went over me ignored until now. I know of women who have had babies in their 40’s. My mom had my last sister at 43 yr. old.


The tubal ligation is not for “medical reasons” it is for sterilization. Contraception via sterilization is not ever a moral option.

You were right on target with NFP. You may need to use more conservative rules to avoid future “scares”, but that is the moral way to avoid pregnancy until menopause.


Wow, that puts things in much more perspective for me.

I have had heavy periods my entire life. Since I was 12. My periods have been at least 5-7 days, sometimes 8, and the “heavy” days being at least 3-4 of those. And, by heavy I mean HEAVY. I go through a super-plus tampon every 2 hours for 3 days at least. Only in the last year, since I turned 40, has it started to moderate a bit. Now I’m only getting heavy days for 2 or maybe 3 of the days. I’ve looked at this as a great* improvement*.

By your doctor’s standard I should have had this horrible procedure at about 12 years old.

Other than the incovenience of heavy bleeding I haven’t had it impare me at all. The anemia thing has come up off and on over the years, and I just take iron and try to eat more iron rich foods. I never had it suggested that I should have my uterus cauterized.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like what you have going on is any different than what I’ve experience for the last 28 years of my life. So, maybe your doctor is overly zealous. Could you get a second opinion?


Chronic backache , being not uncommon and of multiple aetiology , persons probably had cures with varying remedies ; couple that stand out in my memory - one an orthopedic physician , who got healed and stood up when the priest announced that such and such # of persons , had gotten healed of backache and invited them to stand up for testimony , during a charismatic healing service ; another physician , also had suffered from chronic backache , who got healed from use of the fairly popular natural remedy - noni juice ( multiple sellers on the net - one site that claim to be Christian and has good testimonials from other doctors at their site ; but , in ignorance , I guess - talk of a turtle being their family god !)

Probabaly good to also evaluate the intake of calcium ; have heard that dairy, being rich in phosphorus too, sometimes can cause problems ; small fish that have bones ( esp. fried - when it is easy to consume ) and other sources of calcium and magnesium , such as legumes - dry beans , almonds , etc . also can help .

( Hope I am not overstepping the guidelines of offering advice !)


I just wanted you to know that tubal ligations are NOT foolproof either.

I had one after my 7 yo daughter was born via c-section. (Bad decision, I know now).

I have been pregnant three times since then. One was ectoptic, painful and awful. The other two were miscarriages. No one can explain why this happened.

God bless!



Have you tried chiropractic care, it has helped me immensly I will pray for you also. dessert


Perhaps you should get a second opinion. Try one of these doctors:


John T Littell MD Specialty: Family Practice

Phone: (407) 343-1711 NFP Model: BOM/BOMA

Kissimmee, FL 34741


John Hartman MD Specialty: Family Practice/ incl OB

Phone: (321) 442-1214 NFP Model: CrM/PPVI

Kissimmee, FL 34744


Pearl S Huang MD Specialty: Family Practice

Phone: (321) 442-1214 NFP Model: CrM/PPVI

Kissimmee, FL 34744



Hi nana, your story sounds just like my mom’s, she had awful anemia and her periods lasted 14 days and the flow was endless, she had a hysterectomy at age 36, a tubal won’t stop the heavy flow, it only stops you from getting pregnant, you will still ovulate and have periods etc. I would say get a hysterectomy and see if they can leave you with ovaries so you won’t have to go on hormones. Also, my cousin had to have this done 3 yrs ago and she was in her late 30’s and my sister in law is trying to convince her doctor to do it as she flows almost all the time and she has tried everything available and nothing has worked.


I agree with you. I had a hysterectomy at age 41. This was after 2 months of almost non-stop bleeding, a D & C, a trip to the emergency room, followed by severe anemia and a blood transfusion. It was the best choice for me; I still have my ovaries, so did not need hormone therapy. If a woman can have a hysterectomy and keep her ovaries, it’s like having the best of both worlds.


Thanks Ann, I will try one of these. Thanks so much. These are for NFP right?

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