Disagree on Vasectomy


I am a 36 year old mother of four children, ages 12, 8, 5 and 18 months. My husband and I have been married for nearly 15 years and have always used NFP. Now, however, my husband wants to have a vasectomy because he is adamant about not wanting more children (very real financial concerns which I, too, share), and sees the continued use of NFP as much too risky, especially since there is the possibilty that I have eight to ten more years of fertility. I have, since the birth of our last child, read a great deal about God’s plan for sex in marriage, what it means to fully embrace NFP, and have been meeting with a highly certified NFP practitioner, and want to continue to embrace this lifestyle, but he’s not on board. We are now at extreme odds and our discussions have included openly talking about divorce, whether this is grounds for annulment, if this is the end of the sexual aspect of our marriage, etc. I am deeply saddened, angry, hurt and wondering how we are going to proceed from here since neither of us is willing to change our minds. I have made it clear to him that a vasectomy will destroy our marriage and I don’t see how we could ever again be intimate. I have always been so proud how strong our marriage was and quoted the near zero divorce rate of NFP couples, but now I would like to know what a couple in our situation is supposed to do. We are aware of the possiblity of using only the post peak times of my cycle to avoid pregnancy, but then he is resentful of having to abstain so much–he wants the vasectomy so that there are no restrictions for us, and this mindset is counter to everything that I believe. I feel extremely alone in this and know of no one else to ask for advice. As a married couple, we are surrounded by people who use contraception, and so many men who have had vasectomies. Thank you for any advice and guidance you can offer.


Last Updated: January 31, 2022
When I was in my formative years I remember learning that one should anticipate periodic spiritual crises/challenges as one grows and matures in their faith and that this was one of the primary reasons one should cultivate a “habit” of prayer. “A” has just shared such a crisis with us that I would like to in turn share with you.

Thirty-six-year-old “A” and her husband have been married fifteen years, have always used NFP, and have four healthy children. Recently her husband has voiced his desire to be absolutely sure they have no additional children. He is very concerned about the weak economy and he is also a bit tired of the periodic abstinence that NFP requires. They are currently in a standoff and the “D” word has even come up. “A” is feeling very alone and distressed.

Let me say right from the outset that this couple needs a good Christian/Catholic counselor to help them work through this. This crisis has unearthed a multi-layered problem that must be gently probed and analyzed layer by layer to arrive at a solution that is mutually beneficial and acceptable. It defies easy answers. She cannot give her consent to something which she knows is evil and goes against her conscience—for her to consent would be to share in the culpability. She is in fact obligated to present her objections to her husband. Her husband should talk to a priest who can show him what he’s doing is wrong, and not truly loving his wife. I will say this, however: I believe that it is so important for children to grow up with both parents that if “A”’s husband continues down the path to self-mutilation (vasectomy) I think she should still hang in there with him and continue to pray for his conversion. Yes, I realize this will be a very difficult cross for her to bear as she will feel “used” when they have marital relations, but my experience tells me that this will be a rather transitory period. It will not take too long for her husband to feel deep within himself the negative effects sterilization is reeking upon his marital intimacy and then one of two things will typically happen: He will unilaterally opt for divorce because it is too difficult to live with the underlying hypocrisy of what he is doing or he will seek repentence and reconciliation. Continuing the status quo indefinitely is possible, but most couples do not survive such a disparate difference of opinion in the most intimate part of their relationship over the long term.

This is a very difficult world right now with a weak economy and grave instability internationally. This can effect a husband deeply and marital intercourse is a great stress reliever… So I understand “A”’s husband’s concern and his desire for frequent intercourse. Yet I wonder if there are additional factors going on in this husband’s life that have precipitated this crisis. Use of pornography? Some “temptress” out there? Etc. Again this is a problem best resolved by a mutually-acceptable MFCC. We should all pray for “A” and her family and the other families that are out there struggling with the same issue.


Greg Polito, MD, KM

Answered By:

Gregory Polito, MD
Gregory Polito,MD, KM, Past President of CANFP, retired from a urologic practice, with a sub-specialty in vasectomy reversal

Read more related questions

If I Missed a Shot Could I Get Pregnant?

I didn’t go for my injection the 4th of May. Is it possible for me to get pregnant?

The Pill: Class One Carcinogen

Ever since I heard that the birth control pill and other contraceptives were declared Level One carcinogens by the WHO at the “Spirit and Law…

The Pill to Regulate Cycles—Why Not?

I’ve had irregular periods all my life. I went to several doctors who only told me to wait it out for a couple of years…

What to Expect After 24 Years on the Pill

I am a 42 year old female and I have been on birth control since I was 18 years old. I recently stopped taking them…

How Long to Get Back to Normal After Stopping the Pill

I was just wondering what are the normal processes after coming off the pill? I decided to come off the pill because I was getting…

Post Pill and Unexplained Weight Gain

I went off the birth control pill in April, five months ago. I had been on the pill since I was 15 years old. I…

Is Tubal Ligation Indicated

I am 28 years old and pregnant with my 4th child. I have chronic kidney stones and currently have one 1 cm in my right…

Birth Control Pill Rollercoaster

I have looked at the question(s) regarding stopping BCP and the side effects, but I guess my worries aren’t about the ovulation, but rather the…

No Birth Control Pill Has Worked For Me

I have been on birth control since I was like 16. Every birth control I have been on, works for like a month and then…

Worried About Long Term Effects of My Birth Control

I am 18 years of age and just recently started having sex. My boyfriend and I came to a consensus that I start the Pill.…

Regret Yesterday’s Depo Injection

Hi, I had a question. I just received my first shot and last shot of Depo-Provera yesterday afternoon, and I read up on it all…

Disagree on Vasectomy

I am a 36 year old mother of four children, ages 12, 8, 5 and 18 months. My husband and I have been married for…

Create An Account

This is not a membership, this is an account for our CANFP website. If you decide you would like to sign up for one of our memberships later, you can do so with or without this account.

First Name *
Last Name *
E-mail *
Username *
Password *
Confirm Password *
Edit Profile
Order History
Shipping and Billing
Login Information
Notification Settings
Notification Subscriptions

CANFP conducts varied outreach programs to the community at large, in addition to serving our members (NFP users, teachers, and advocates).

CANFP provides education programs tailored to the audience, not only on Natural Family Planning, but on the wide variety of topics related to it.

Programs can be continuing education for NFP Professionals, introductory information for a lay audience of youth or adults new to the topic, or specifically tailored to the interests of a professional audience, such as educators, physicians, or clergy. Content is faith based or secular, whichever is suitable for situation.

CANFP offers a variety of resources for those just discovering Natural Family Planning, as well as to meet the varied needs of our CANFP Members. Most resources are available to any visitors to our site. Some resources do ask you to register as a site user in order to access them, others are available only to CANFP Members.

CANFP statewide conferences, regional events offered in collaboration with local partners, events featuring CANFP speakers, or exhbit, as well as other events throughout the state of interest to our NFP community.  Come meet one of our experts at one of these events or book a speaker for your own upcoming event.

CANFP depends on the gifts, talents, and generosity of our members and supporters. The success of our mission depends on the collaboration of our members. Please consider contributing your time treasure and talent through CANFP to share the good news of NFP with the world! Both volunteer and contracted positions available.

Stay informed by joining our email list

* indicates required
Which role(s) best describes you?