What choices does the Church allow me regarding a hysterectomy?


Because of complications with my first birth, my doctor firmly believes (as do I) that it is safer for the both the infant and me if we do a C-section this time (I’m due in September). The problem is that we want to continue to have as many children as God has planned for us, but having C-sections from here on out means my risk of requiring a hysterectomy goes up with each one.

So the moral issue is, do I…

  1. Do what is safest for the baby and me and have C-sections, trusting God to protect my body in the long run, or

  2. Try for a vaginal delivery and risk the life of my child, but trust Him in that case to see the baby and me to safety?

AND furthermore … If I did have to have a hysterectomy, would there be sin in that?

We’re going round and round with this, and my priest is pretty liberal and far too busy to talk with us about it.



Dear Surfin,

If you and your doctor consider a C-section to be safer for you and the baby, then go with it—period. If this means that you will have to have a hysterectomy sooner than later, so be it. It is important that you deal with the safest choice at the present.

The Church allows necessary hysterectomies. Should such an operation be in your future, there is still the option of adopting or taking in foster children. Who knows what God wants of any of us in the future? But for now, we must make the best choices in the situations that are immediately before us.

You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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