Why are condoms sinful if you have a STD?

If you can use a birth control pill as medication to help out with menstrual issues, why can’t you use a condom not as a contraceptive, but rather as device to prevent the spreading of STDs with an unfortunate side effect of making the sex act almost sterile?

Because the sexual act must ALWAYS be open to the prospect of creating new life and must be between a man and his wife. If the sexual act doesn’t meet these criteria, then there is something wrong.

If you are unmarried and remaining chaste then using the pill to regulate menstrual issues isn’t “birth control”. Within marriage, using the pill, even for this same reason, but choosing to engage in the marital act makes the pill become “birth control” and therefore, the use of the pill becomes immoral.

Someone with an STD should become chaste. Some STDs can still be spread.

Someone with an STD shouldn’t even be thinking of sex. After all, that’s how they got it in the first place, isn’t it?

[SIGN]All good answers.[/SIGN]

Not under the standard of “double effect.” Involuntary sterility to treat a biological disorder is ok…or else married men who elect treatment for prostate cancer wherein the treatment leads to involuntary temporary or permanent sterility is wrong…?

That is a good question, though.

I am one who believes you could get a double-effect argument out of that line of reasoning, though the Magisterium thus far has not accepted such thinking.


This is incorrect. The Church allows for legitimate medical treatments, even if sterlility is a side-effect (unintended secondary effect). A couple is not required to abstain from sex in such a situation. Their engaging in sterile sex is no more immoral than for a couple past childbearing years, or a couple having sex during the non-fertile phase of NFP, or a couple who are naturally infertile for any other reason.

The issue of using birth control pills for menstrual issues, and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of STD has nothing to do with each other. If you are married and monogamous, then STDs are not an issue, correct?

If you are single, then you are called on to be chaste, so there again, why the need for a condom? If you are in the unique situation of being in a monogamous relationship and have an incurable form of STD [such things do exist] I would venture to guess that the answer is chastity and adoption, if you want to have kids. Such an important issue should be counseled by a Priest.

If this is not an issue, and you simply do not trust your spouse, then I myself would question the validity of the relationship.

Ask a good, well educated priest about this. I have a Catholic friend who did and got very different advice than what is being given here.

I thought I had read an opinion from the Vatican (sometime ago, don’t know where) that it would be morally acceptable to use barrier protection (condom) if one spouse had HIV. Basically, to prevent the other spouse from becoming infected. As we know there is no cure for HIV.

I have to disagree with your conclusion. Michelle Arnold covered this exact issue in the current issue ( March-April 2014) of Catholic Answers on page 5. The pill is being taken for a specific medical problem. The fact that there is a side reaction is completely secondary and not a moral issue.

I didn’t mean that sterility would be an impediment to having chaste sex, just that sex always has to be open to creating new life.

I’m talking specifically about the birth control pill, which in its very name states that sterility is not an unintended secondary side effect. It is the main purpose. But yes, for legitimate medical purposes the principle of double-effect would be invoked. I think the key is that the reasons must be “legitimate” which is an arbitrary term. Couples should always use prudence so as to make sure that they are engaging in chaste sex while one of them is rendered infertile for some medical reason. What I meant to say was that all sex that is not open to the possibility of life is immoral. Even after child bearing years, sex should still be open to that possibility even if it is physically impossible. At least this has been my understanding.

I’m not an expert in medicine by any means, but is the pill (meaning the birth control pill) which renders a woman temporarily sterile the only way to remedy the problem? Could this “side-reaction” be abused by a married couple and lead to unchaste sex? Are there no other remedies which could solve the problem which don’t cause temporary sterility? I won’t disagree with Michelle Arnold but it seems that this particular scenario could be (and should be) avoided if at all possible.

I’m sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying.

The “birth control” pill is merely synthetic hormones. They can be used for contraception (which is wrong) or for medical tretament of various female issues. When used in the latter way, the contraceptive effect is not what is intended, despite what the name/packaging says.

There may or may not be better solutions in any given case. But I don’t think a Catholic woman needs to choose less effective treatments simply to avoid an unwanted contraceptive effect. If equally or more effective treatments are available which do not have a contraceptive effect, then they should be chosen. It can of course be hard to judge and different doctors will offer different opinions.

Like a few other posters said, I don’t think there is any ban on condoms if one spouse in a married state has an std.

The church already allows for women who have problems with irregularity in their cycle to take the pill to try and regulate and control her cycle…as long as they are following the other rules of the faith.

I don’t see why if one partner went into the marriage with an std, that condoms would not be allowed to protect the other spouse. Maybe they would not be allowed to marry in the first place? I doubt that. I also highly doubt it would be wrong to use condoms to protect the other spouse. Seems like the law of love would call for its usage.

This conclusion is clear contrary to Church teaching.

  1. Contraception is gravely disordered
  2. Use of a condom during sex is contraception
    Therefore the use of a condom during sex is gravely disordered and no good intent can make their use moral.

What would the one spouse who has the STD be thinking? Would he/she not inform the person they are marrying about this? If I met a man with an STD, I really doubt I could in good conscience marry him.

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