Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception

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Human sexual intercourse includes three levels – physical, psychological, and spiritual. People not only share their naked bodies with each other but express love through a unique emotional bond when the physical intimacy is properly understood and honestly lived (“Contraception & non-therapeutic sterilization,” n.d.). In addition, nakedness and spiritual intimacy presuppose a mutual life-long commitment.

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Reproduction is typical for animals through intercourse essential for the achievement of fertilization. In other words, it is a biological process of making offspring of the same type. In turn, procreation refers to people’s actual begetting of a child on the basis of their ability, spiritual bond, desire, and the Creator’s permission.

Intimacy has two dimensions – physical and spiritual; physical intimacy implies people’s sharing their naked body with each other and one partner’s nakedness shared with another person causes another partner’s deep sense of betrayal. Spiritual dimension addresses sharing love and deep emotional bond between partners that seals their souls in a unique way.

Contraception is people’s intentional avoidance of having children without obvious serious reason. Contraception prevents pregnancy when presupposed desire to have children is avoided due to serious reasons, including finances, medical condition, emotional instability, relocation, and other children. There are three types of artificial contraception: mechanical (condoms, cervical caps and sponges, intrauterine devices, diaphragms), chemical (oral pills, injectable doses, subdermal patches), and surgical (tubal ligation, vasectomy, hysterectomy).

Contraception’s multiple risks and side effects include high blood pressure, cancer, depression, blood clots, vomiting, nausea, headaches, dizziness, vaginal infections, irregular bleeding, abdominal pain, acne, weight gain, diminished sexual desire, bone density loss, tender breasts, appetite changes, and ectopic pregnancy (“Contraception & non-therapeutic sterilization,” n.d.). In general, contraception implies a radical separation of unitive and procreative love. It refers to selfishness and the betrayal of God’s Providence. Artificial contraception has unfair dynamics, such as libido differentiation, burden on women, turning sexual intercourse into entertainment, promotion of contraceptive mentality, and sexually transmitted disease exposure.

Non-therapeutic sterilization is a specific practice of birth control that leaves people unable to reproduce without any medical reasons. It makes healthy organs inoperative and may be regarded as an act of arrogance against the Creator’s Plan and Providence that violates married couples’ vocation.

Any act has two simultaneous effects – good and bad, and for this act to be morally right, several conditions should be fulfilled. First of all, independently of consequences, the act should be naturally good or at least indifferent in relation to morale (“Contraception & non-therapeutic sterilization,” n.d.). In addition, the evil effect should be an incidental by-product but not a source for the good effect. Moreover, the evil effect should not be desired or intended – it can be only permitted if unavoidable. Thus, there should be serious reasons for the evil effect permission and no other variants are available. If any of these conditions is not fulfilled, the act will be regarded as morally wrong.

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In the case of ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg is implanted in a fallopian tube outside the womb. It is a life-threatening condition as a growing egg will destroy the tube. In this case, salpingectomy, or the removal of a fallopian tube with live unborn, may be regarded as appropriate and justified by serious medical reasons. However, salpingostomy, or the removal only of a live unborn, is inappropriate and regarded as abortion. In the case of a cancerous reproductive system with pregnancy, hysterectomy along with an essential therapy is justified.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex procedure of procreation during which mature eggs are retrieved from ovaries and mixed with sperm in a lab. IVF may be regarded as an unethical and unnatural act as a child is God’s Providence within the context of a valid marriage (“Contraception & non-therapeutic sterilization,” n.d.). A valid marriage combines unitive and procreative dimensions, and IVF excludes the first one. In addition, considering multiple practical challenges, IVF may be regarded as intrinsically evil.

“To have a child” refers to God’s Plan and Providence that should not be ignored or arrogated. Within a valid marriage, people should have a desire to have a child, however this gift from God should come naturally to make procreation ethically right.

Heterologous fertilization is prohibited as it destroys the spouses’ unity and the dignity of the child and parents. Homologous artificial fertilization is prohibited as well as procreation will be separated from the significance of the marital act (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 2018). Surrogate motherhood and its commercialization is not allowed as it denigrates women’s dignity and destroys the mother-child relationship’s uniqueness. No abortion is morally licit in the case of extrauterine pregnancy.

Although Catholic health institutions have no responsibility in the promotion of contraceptive practices, they should provide the medical staff and married couples with particular instructions about natural family planning and the Church’s teaching related to responsible parenthood (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 2018). Thus, in Catholic health care institutions, direct sterilization, whether temporary or permanent, is not permitted for both men and women. However, procedures that presuppose sterility are allowed only if they are necessary for the alleviation of serious pathology and other ways of treatment are not beneficial.

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References

Contraception & non-therapeutic sterilization. (n.d.). Module 3: Lecture Materials & Resources.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). (2018). Ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care services (6th ed.). USCCB.

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NursingBird. (2022, September 5). Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/

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NursingBird. (2022, September 5). Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception. https://nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/

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"Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception." NursingBird, 5 Sept. 2022, nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/.

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NursingBird. (2022) 'Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception'. 5 September.

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NursingBird. 2022. "Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception." September 5, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/.

1. NursingBird. "Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception." September 5, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/.


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NursingBird. "Human Sexual Intercourse and Contraception." September 5, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/human-sexual-intercourse-and-contraception/.