Struggling Since Vasectomy

Question

My husband and I have been struggling in our marriage since having a vasectomy about four years ago. I was not a Catholic at the time. We had three small children and then I lost both of my parents within a few months. I was overwhelmed and grief stricken. My husband, who was concerned for my sanity, decided to have a vasectomy (at my suggestion) even though we both felt that it was wrong in terms of natural law. The vasectomy actually failed and I felt like it was a miracle and a blessing. My husband did not see it that way and having already gone so far decided to have it redone despite my pleading that he wouldn’t.
I have since become a Catholic and see the wisdom and beauty of the Truth. When dealing with the issue in confession the priest advised that having three children is enough, we have done our part and that I should just love my husband. I trust in Christ’s mercy but I struggle with how to handle our reality in our marriage and in our area there seems to be no priests who actually see what we have done as wrong.

I am trying to discern how exactly we should ammend our lives given a reversal is not likely possible due to the two previous surgeries. I know that one possibility is to practice NFP and abstain from fertile times, however I am praying and hoping for a miracle and want to be open to life at these times.

Because of my sadness, my husband is willing to look into a reversal but I feel like I am being selfish in asking him to do this and wonder if our resources would be better spent in supporting children in need or possibly seeking adoption. I long to put things right but I don’t want to assume that they can be. I am open to the possibility that this will be a sorrow I must live with but can offer up but also feel afraid. I would appreciate any advice you could offer.

Thank you

Answer

On receiving your e-mail, we at CANFP began praying for you and your husband. You mention you and your husband’s struggle to do the right thing. We who are affiliated with CANFP want to support you in following the Truth. Congratulations on coming into the Catholic Church! Welcome home!

First, it is against the natural law to get a vasectomy. It is also contrary to Divine Law. Your consciences were right. You mention that there “seems to be no priest who actually sees what you did as wrong.” There are priests who would say what you did was wrong because the Church teaches that it is unacceptable. However, the forgiveness you received through the priest was real as you mention you trust in Jesus’ mercy. In regards to your situation, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in paragraph 2999: “Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” You and your husband want to discern now exactly how to amend your lives. Where do you go from here? This is good. Going to Confession was the good first step.

You were not pleased with what my brother priest told you when he said that you “have had already had three children and to just love your husband.” The Church will not force your husband to get a reversal, but would recommend it to you as a means of amending your life for the better and living your marriage vows. Reparation for sin involves repairing what has been damaged. There are doctors associated with CANFP who are capable of doing a vasectomy reversal. You mention that your husband is open to it. It sounds like you have your answer. You are not being selfish when you consider asking your husband to get the reversal. Many of us would be thrilled if your husband got the reversal. I would be particularly proud of you guys.

If the reversal is successful, then yes, perhaps employing a method of NFP, you can begin anew to live the third marriage vow, and be open to God’s gift of children. If the reversal is unsuccessful, then many of us who respect the Church’s teaching and respect marriage and sexuality, would recommend practicing NFP as if you both were fertile as a means of respecting God’s gift of fertility and sexuality. Abstaining during fertile times would be a good way to make reparation. Also if the reversal does not work, then perhaps explore too, the possibility of adoption or helping children in need.

I am concerned about the sadness that you mention at least twice in your request. It is common for a son or daughter to mourn the loss of one or more parents. With prayer, grace, faith, and time, your hope should normally increase. Give yourself time. In my experience there is a sadness or disconnect among spouses who sterilize themselves, but add to that as well the loss of both your parents. It’s no wonder that you experienced a deep sadness. Keep a strong prayer life, participating at the least in the Sunday Eucharist. Pray with your husband and with your three children. Be open to a bereavement group or even counseling. The Lord will help you.

Finally, you can call CANFP too for more questions. We are here to support you. Thank you for wanting to do the right thing. I hope and pray that this helps. God bless you and keep you.

In Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Ed

Answered By:

Fr. Ed Horning
Fr. Edward Horning is a priest for the Diocese of San Diego, and Pastor of the Catholic parishes of Westmoreland and Brawley. Fr. Ed co-hosts a radio program about Theology of the Body called “Buenos Días en el Camino” on Thursdays from 9am-10am on ESNE radio (El Sembrador). The video recording of Fr. Hornings presentation in Spanish at the National HV50 conference held July 27-28 in Ontario, California on 50 años de Humanae Vitae: Viendo el mundo con los lentes de Humanae Vitae y la Teología del Cuerpo can be viewed https://youtu.be/ysV2WfEshpE

Read more related questions

Returning to Catholic Church After Vasectomy

So I grew up Catholic. When I became an adult I lost my desire to be part of the Church. I stopped going to Mass…

Are Abnormal Sperm a Concern After Vasectomy Reversal

My new husband is not a Catholic but is willing to undergo a vasectomy reversal at my request. But the clinic where he will have…

Questions About Perforated Condom

I just found your site as I was searching for a collection condom. I read the answer and question about perforating the condom with a…

Runny Red Seminal Fluid

My question is in regards to the question asked before on Low Volume Red Tinged Ejaculate. I noticed my normal ejaculation go to red runny…

Bacteria in Seminal Fluid

My husband went for a sperm count. They found white blood cells and bacteria in it. They didn`t specify what kind of bacteria, however he…

Is One Testicle…Enough?

I am hoping that you will answer this question for me. I am a mom to six kids, five from a previous marriage and one…

29 Year OId Man Desperate for Relief

I’m 29 years old and for the last four years I have been seeing a urologist and he always finds a hard spot on my…

Seminal Fluid 1A

What are the chances of increasing your seminal fluid? I read that an enlarged prostate may have an effect? Cliff

Moral Seminal Fluid Analysis

Hello, I have a question regarding semen analysis. As an observant Jew, my Rabbi has instructed me that the best method of collecting the semen…

Need to Abstain to Increase Sperm Count?

Does frequent ejaculation decrease sperm count, making chances less for acheiving pregnancy? Matt

Struggling Since Vasectomy

My husband and I have been struggling in our marriage since having a vasectomy about four years ago. I was not a Catholic at the…

Chunky Seminal Fluid

Dear Sirs, I have recently gotten into a relationship with a woman after not having any sexual relations since my divorce nearly seven years ago.…

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
Information
Subscriptions
Payments
Order History
Downloads
Shipping and Billing
Donations
Settings
Login Information
Notification Settings
Notification Subscriptions
Profile

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?