Contraception in Marriage?

The elephant in the room for many is the use of contraception in Marriage. Why does the Catholic Church say “No way” for the use of contraception in marriage? Dr. Janet Smith has given a great talk explaining the evils of contraception and how marriage is much better without it.

To listen to her talk for free online and to see a transcript of her talk, go to

To order a cd of this talk, go to

What does the Church officially teach? How about checking out Humanae Vitae, the encyclical written by Pope Paul VI on the matter. The marital act is meant for two purposes: babies and bonding (to use more theological language, procreative and unitive). If either of these are missing, the act is not fulfilling its end, and is thus not good. This is essentially why the act outside of marriage is immoral, and why other sexual acts that are outside of the marital act are immoral. Thus anything either chemically or physically that provides a barrier or an interruption to the marital act makes the act immoral. We do not have to look far to see the devastation that is caused by treating the sexual act as simply a pastime, and contraception leads to this mentality.

The Church does allow the use of something called Natural Family Planning for those couples who for serious reasons need to space the birth of their children. This is also very useful for couples who are trying to conceive. Is this the outdated “Rhythm Method”? No, it is something different and is about 99% effective. NFP utilizes the signs of the woman’s body, requires communication between spouses, and calls for periodic abstinence from the marital act.

The normal way for couples to go is to accept the lives that God gives to them as a gift, but if the couple determines there is a serious reason to postpone having children, using NFP is a morally acceptable route to choose.

What about Natural Family Planning? Couple to Couple League is a good way to learn about and how to use Natural Family Planning. This is very helpful for marriage. So if you care about your marriage, get rid of the contraception.

So: If you have been using contraception, stop it. Throw it out, have any devices removed, and always complete the act in the way God intended. Go to confession, pray about and possibly take an NFP course, and live married life the way God intended.

Jason Evert gives a good summary here:

A woman explains her journey and using NFP in her marriage:

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