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Is it a sin to use birth control methods for medical reasons?
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:52 PM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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Default Is it a sin to use birth control methods for medical reasons?

Yesterday, my mother took me to see a gynecologist for my "monthly ow" and the possibility of fibroids causing the pain. However, many of the pain-reduction methods that she described to me are also used for birth control.

Although both my mother and I are Catholic, my mom's a nurse, so we agreed to use birth control pills to lessen my pain and heavy bleeding.

Now, my question is the title of this thread: do you think that it is a sin to use birth control methods for medical reasons? I'm a virgin, and in my case, it's unlikely that I will ever get into a relationship where sex is involved.

What do you think?

EDIT: I googled my question, but rephrased it to include pain reduction. Here is one of the answers that I got.

Last edited by cindybubbles; 05-26-2015 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:05 PM
mathnerd mathnerd is offline
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As for a doctrinal edict saying yes or no, I don't know, but I do know for certain that several Catholic institutions, and even one major Archdiocese that I know of have procedures for approving "birth control pills" for non-birth control medical reasons through their insurance plans. I also know of one order of nuns that doesn't have a problem with that, as I personally know at least two nuns from that order that take them for those reasons.

That's all circumstantial evidence, but I'd think if nuns are taking them and the insurance plans for major Catholic institutions/Archdiocese have a way to get an override for medical reasons, then it's okay.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:52 PM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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Thanks. I ask because some people might think that it is a sin no matter what the circumstances.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:00 PM
Kuari Kuari is offline
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Here's what really matters in this situation: How do YOU feel about taking these pills? Are you going to advertise to other people that you take them? How badly do you want to lessen the pain you deal with?

If nobody outside of you, your mother, your doctor, and your pharmacist knows you're taking these pills then it is really nobody else's business, and therefore they cannot judge you. If it bothers you what other people might think, then don't tell them anything.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:10 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindybubbles View Post
I ask because some people might think that it is a sin no matter what the circumstances.
Believe me when I say no matter what anyone does, there's going to be some group of people who are going to think whatever you do is a sin. Coming from a family of devout Christians (a mix of Catholics and Protestants) and marrying into a devout Catholic family, I've found that I've vexed probably every member of my family in one way or another.

I've upset my uncle and aunt for drinking. I've upset my mother for living with my wife before marriage. I've upset my other uncle and aunt for believing in evolution... the best you can do is smile and nod as they preach to you and then move on. It's really not worth the energy to debate it with them.

As a Catholic, though, I'll say that the principle of double effect is an important concept, since you're always going encounter some kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Of course, whenever you encounter them, the principle doesn't silence the opponents of whatever choice you make.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:24 PM
mathnerd mathnerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindybubbles View Post
Thanks. I ask because some people might think that it is a sin no matter what the circumstances.
If your faith is important to you, which it appears to be, then "other people" shouldn't matter at all. The only thing that should matter is what the Church says. Given that, I'll see what I can do to dig up some resources to see what they have to say on the matter. I think given my knowledge of what some Catholic entities do, that I'm going to find that it's the intent that matters, and not the actual chemical, but I'd like to see that in print from an official source before I declare "this is what the Catholic Church has to say on the matter."

That said, after I posted last, I recalled a conversation I had with the Archbishop of my old home town. Now this guy was pretty awesome. In a town that loves his motorcycle rides, he was frequently at the head of the line of bikes during rides for various causes. This should give you an idea of the kind of guy he was. Stuffy he was not.

So I had the opportunity at the end of one of those rides to chat with him. The subject of birth control pills to treat medical issues came up. Summarizing what he had to say:

Many chemicals cause temporary or permanent infertility. If we judge a chemical solely by that affect, then there's a number of life saving drugs the Church would have to forbid. Foremost among these drugs are chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer, and you'd be hard pressed to find a Catholic that would argue against the use of those drugs to save the lives of cancer patients. Along those lines, the chemicals that are used by some to prevent pregnancy can also be used to treat conditions that make life miserable for women affected by them. We must not look at the side effects of those drugs when determining if they are suitable for use to treat those conditions. What we must look at then, when determining if taking these drugs is a sin or not, is the intent of the woman taking them. If she is taking them for birth control only, then the Catholic Church cannot condone it, but if she is taking them to treat a medical condition, and temporary infertility is an unfortunate side effect, then I cannot call that a sin.

Now, I think I shall try to dig up something from an official source.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:58 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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from what little I ( admittedly) know, it's having sex while on birth control that is the sin, not taking birth control itself. ( it's similar to how it isn't a sin to carry around a gun. It IS a sin to murder someone with it.) The idea is that sex is supposed to be for reproduction. Since you have yourself said you are unlikely to have sex anyway, I'm 99% sure the Church doesn't actually care.

(as for people who oppose BC no matter what, they might not realize BC can alos help with various medical conditions.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:32 PM
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Greenday Greenday is offline
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Considering the Catholic church is okay with abortions for medical reasons, I don't see why they wouldn't be okay with you taking medicine for medical reasons.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:06 PM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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Ok. Thanks for the input.

I plan to use them, since my pain is so bad that I've called it my "monthly ow" for a few years now.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:44 PM
mathnerd mathnerd is offline
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Just to ease your mind a little bit more, I found this topic discussed on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The page is:

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-tea...ex.cfm#medical

The relevant part of the page (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Catholic teaching does not oppose the use of hormonal medications – such as those found in chemical contraceptives – for legitimate medical purposes, provided there is no contraceptive intent.

But artificial hormones typically treat only the medical symptoms. They do not correct the underlying disease or condition. They also carry the same physical health risks as hormonal contraceptives.

Thankfully, with growing advancements in understanding fertility, knowledgeable gynecologists can often prescribe non-contraceptive drugs and recommend safer and healthier treatments to correct underlying problems or eliminate discomfort.
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