Is having an operation that leaves you infertile a sin?


Dear brother Jeffrey,

A sister in our congregation asked me if tubal closure for contraceptive purposes is a sin. She already has children and becomes pregnant easily, but she cannot afford to have another child, as both she and her husband are working, and it is already difficult to raise the children they already have.

I asked her if she meant tubal ligation (which is reversible, although not always) or bilateral salpingectomy (which is the removal of both fallopian tubes, which leads to permanent infertility).

My thought is that tubal ligation (reversible) is not a sin; but permanent bilateral salpingectomy for contraceptive purposes (i.e. in the absence of a pathology that requires surgical removal of the tubes, e.g. for cancer or a serious infection that cannot be cured with antibiotics, etc.) could be problematic for a Christian woman. However, it must be said that tubal ligation (reversible) does not completely prevent unwanted pregnancies: it is considered a very reliable method, but not foolproof. The most recent studies report a failure rate of less than 1%. In addition, the risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus) also increases.

However you look at it, the question is a thorny one. What can I tell our sister in faith so that she doesn't do something that is sin in God's eyes?

Thank you for your help in seeking an answer to this question. God bless you.


See Contraceptives.

Contraceptives, such as tubal ligation, vasectomies, or similar surgeries (reversible or not) are not sinful. "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it" (Matthew 19:12). Jesus listed out three categories:

  • People who were born infertile.
  • People who were made infertile. These would not be reversible as in Jesus' day this often involved removing a man's testicles.
  • People who choose not to have sex. A choice could be reversed.

All three are acceptable in the kingdom. While the discussion in Matthew 19:12 is about males who are eunuchs, similar arguments would apply to females.


Thank you very much for your reply. I have passed on the information.

Good job.

God bless.

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