Use of Birth Control


My 40-year-old wife has had three C-sections. In the past she has had difficulty with her cycle and her doctor prescribed birth control pills or fertility drugs to maintain her normal cycle. Considering her health history, her age, and the health risk of having a fourth C-section, is it permissable to use birth control pills?


When prescribed by a doctor as a medical necessity (not for the purpose of contraception) it may be legitimate to take the pill. Pope Paul VI addressed this issue in Humanae Vitae: “[T]he 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)

Due to negative side effects of the pill you may want to contact The Couple to Couple League or The National Catholic Bioethics Center to consider alternatives.

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