Does the Catholic Church have any process of being allowed to use birth control if it is necessary to preserve the life of the woman? (For example, suppose a woman must take certain medications to control a serious health condition and it is not allowed to take such medications during pregnancy)

  • 1
    Rome is engaged with this very question at the moment and has not definitely answered as yet. The main question was , if I recall correctly, was in the point, whether a condom was morally permitted to protect a spouse from getting AIDS.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


It would probably a just reason to use NFP but contraception would not be permitted

2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family. The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.


2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality



The Purpose of the medication cannot be to prevent life, but to heal or prevent further illness. An example might be Chemotherapy, that weakens the body or some kind of hormone treatment (of which I don't know I'm not a doctor) that would effect the normal reproductive cycle.

Lawful Therapeutic Means

  1. The 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.

Paul VI. (1968). Humanae Vitae. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.'

The idea mainly is that the Act of Sexual intercourse between a man and woman who are in the union of Sacramental marriage should always be open to the possibility of life. If the act of bonding is for purely lust of the flesh, it damages the relationship, even if it does not appear to do so on the surface. The desire for union between a Husband and Wife, is Good and beautiful, as long as that desire is is open to the relationship God intended it for. LIFE

  • I see now my question was not clear enough. The case is: the woman must take certain medication, let's call it X. X is NOT birth control, and it has NO effect on reproduction. However, X comes with a restriction... You cannot take it while pregnant. Therefore the woman must take birth control in order to take X. What is the teaching here?
    – JoelFan
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 17:51
  • That would fall under “therapeutic means”. However, if you are looking for a loop hole, to get around the Catholic teaching restricting birth control, then you have a problem. I think in terms of motivation, the inclination in society to not want to have the blessings of Children are so strong, that one might see this use of birth control as a worldly blessing rather than a heavenly one from God. That’s where we get into shady areas of morals and recommend pastoral advice.
    – Marc
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .