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Mar 25, 2020

Be My Guest: Fr. Brad Doyle on Birth Control for Medical Reasons and Male Fertility Tests

Fr. Josh Johnson

On today’s episode, Father Josh is joined by his good friend Fr. Brad Doyle from the Quizzical Papist podcast. to answer questions about the ethics of fertility testing and birth control for medical reasons.  

Producer’s note: Father Josh is now live streaming his daily Masses to Ascension’s Facebook page every morning at 9:30 AM ET. Go to and join us tomorrow for Mass with Fr. Josh at 9:30 AM! Hope you can join us! God bless. 


Fertility Testing:

Fr. Josh,

My name is John King and I am looking into moral theology and have a question on fertility. If a couple cannot have children, a woman can get a fertility test and it’s sometimes as simple as a small hormone shot to make her able to conceive. If it is a male problem, one can only know from a semen sample. Is there any morally okay way to provide a sperm sample? Some test for acidity, sperm count, etc. My instinct tells me that the answer is no, there is no morally acceptable way to provide this sample. There are a few ways to obtain them, but the common way is through a special condom provided by the physician or through masturbation into a sample cup. My intuition tells me both of these ways are wrong and there is not a morally acceptable way to test for male infertility even for medical reasons. What are your thoughts? Am I correct in my assumption?

Thank you for your help! I love your podcast.

– John

Birth Control for Medical Reasons

Hi Fr. Josh, 

Thank you for always being such an honest and true source for Church Teachings. Quick backstory, my husband and I have practiced NFP our entire 13 years of marriage, we have 2 beautiful little boys and we are completely happy practicing this. 

That being said, since having my last baby I have been in severe pain during ovulation and today I told the doctor. I have tried ignoring the pain, treating it at home, etc. but it has become debilitating. The Doctor informed me I will need an ultrasound and worst case it is a cyst that needs to be removed but could be something that going on birth control will resolve. I am at a crossroads. My intent is not contraception, I have never been on birth control, however; I am beginning to miss work and the ability to attend to my kids because of the pain. We obviously know that we need to be open to babies as that is the purpose of marriage. That being said, if it is the only way to fix the pain I am experiencing is it a sin? 

Again, we are in the beginning stages of finding out what is wrong, birth control may not be needed, but I am wanting to know the church’s view just in case.

– Theresa


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  • Such a fun episode to listen to! I definitely laughed out loud listening to your banter with Fr. Brad — it’s almost like you guys are twins! XD Also, great spiritual guidance, as usual. God bless!

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