Contraception in marriage?

Hi everyone, 

I am unsure where to post this question but I need a Christian perspective on this topic. I am going to get married in a few months and both my fiance and I are 23. We have decided that we don't want children until maybe 2 years into the marriage, but if it happens it happens. But since we are still young I still want to be able to practice in my career for a bit before I dedicate my whole life to raising children. My fiance doesn't mind seeing a doctor about this but he also is worried and sees contraception as risking to be infertile. What should I do? I don't have any real knowledge of contraception nor have I ever thought about it. Please help.



  • The First Thing You Should Consider Is Consult Your Father Confessor. I Think If both You And Your Fiance Agree It Is Better To get married when you are ready to carry the responsibility of having children. Contraceptives Are Not Advicable For Two Reasons; First, Its Use Contradicts With The Idea That God Brings Children To This World. By Using It You're Attempting To Take God's Will (even Though We Can't). The Second Thing Is That Some Forms Of Have Significant Adverse Effects Including Infirtility And Health Complications. May God Be With You!
  • edited March 2017

    My wife dealt with this same issue. Oddly, there is a book about Homosexuality that was published by a church in Miamisburg, Ohio explaining the stance of our church on contraception. We are not Roman Catholic and do not object to contraception in a marriage. You should first and foremost have her speak with her Primary Care Physician, and of course you may ask Abouna as well. Although, if you are married, contraception is not a issue within the church, and your choice should be based solely on what is best for her health.

    Please Pray for Me.

  • I don't believe that the Coptic church has an official position on contraception. There are methods of contraception that are safe and close to 100% effective (like condoms). You should speak with a doctor
  •  First, Its Use Contradicts With The Idea That God Brings Children To This World. By Using It You're Attempting To Take God's Will (even Though We Can't). ...........that is completely wrong.
  • Contraception is not forbidden in the Orthodox Church. You do not need to consult your father of confession before using contraception! You need to consult a doctor.

    The Orthodox Church is only against modes of contraception that terminate a fertilised egg (e.g. Morning after pill). Choice of contraceptive is based on your preference and side effect profile. E.g. Patients with high blood pressure, migraines or previous DVTs (clots) cannot have certain types of contraceptives.
    Also some contraceptives are more faster reversed than others. And some contraceptives are more effective than others. Absolutely no problem with family planning in the Orthodox Church. Just termination of pregnancy at any stage is a sin as it is the killing of a life (in orthodoxy we believe life begins at conception).

    I truely find it bizarre that people are advising to discuss this with a father of confession! They are not medically qualified and they can only tell you what the beliefs of the church are. They do not have the right to tell you when you should or shouldn't commence having childre!
  • think the Orthodox community doesn't use contraception? Each couple would have at least 9-12 children if they don't. Before the availability of contraception in the 60s it was not unusual for families to be so large and for women to have numerous health complications due to multiple births. People should not post their opinions as if they are Christian commandments.
  • edited March 2017
    I never said that people in the Orthodox community don't use contraception....where did you come up with that?
  • I found these comments, one including Pope Shenoda 111
  • @bassemwilliam,

    The Coptic Church does have an official position on contraception: No abortifacient (or more accurately no abortifacient that explicitly is taken to abort the fetus).  Contraception is allowed (more accurately, devices or medication that prevents fertilization). Note contraception is not sterilization. I believe this is officially denied in the Coptic Church.


    Regardless if people did or did not use contraception, it is the spiritual basis that we are concerned about, not medical qualifications. As such, I think it is wrong to avoid having this discussion with their father of confession. There are spiritual contraindications, just like medical ones you mentioned, that should be addressed.


    The thread that Joshuaa linked has very useful information to show why contraception is allowed. As that link showed, our Coptic bishops have consistently stated, it is not God's will to have an unlimited amount of children without the ability to care for the children. It would be more of a sin to have children that you have no intention to raise in the fear of God, in the commandments of God, in the love of God. 

    In ancient times, lots of procreation was required for evolutionary survival. The life of expectancy was in the 30's or less in many parts of the world. The OT reflects this concepts. But we do not have sex for procreation. With a higher life expectancy, social and industrial development, and clarification from the NT, the Church and the Fathers, it is hard to justify the claim that all contraception is a sin. 

    Secondly, how do you know what God's will is regarding this matter? The Bible is silent about contraception. The patristic fathers did not have the same scientific understanding of reproduction and contraception and they are not consistent. The Church (at least the Coptic Church) says contraception is ok. Why do you think it is against God's will to use contraception? It is more plausible that God wills for young couples to raise children responsibly and not be overburdened or burning with desire that leads to condemnation as St Paul stated. 


    You should not worry so much about contraception in your engagement period. There are more pressing spiritual issues that should be your concern. Take care of your spiritual self first, then your fiance's, then your career, then your fiance's, then your interaction with friends and community, then ask these questions about family life. If you switch priorities, you will find more conflicts. It really doesn't matter if and when you use contraceptions, if you are not on good terms with God yourself. It doesn't matter if you have a 1 child or 100 children if you were negligent in your career and rely on handouts and welfare to raise them. 

    Finally, the use of contraception has not been shown to cause infertility. There are literally thousands of cases of women who have been on contraception for over a decade conceive within days after contraception was stopped. God designed the body to be adaptive. It is the reason why so many therapies, drugs, medical devices, surgeries work great for a little while and then decrease in effectiveness. If you are concerned, speak to a doctor. I'm willing to bet that these questions have more to do with spiritual concerns, then medical. Speak to your priest. The worse that can happen is that you and your fiance will have a justifiable reason to not take your priest's advice. If some negative outcome occurs, go back and ask for more advice. Unless your priest is an egotistical maniac, his concern is your eternal life, not being right. 

  • never stated i was against contraception. I never stated the church was against it. I never stated it was a sin. I never stated that contraception is against the will of God. I never stated that people in our orthodox community do not use contraception. I have never stated anything of the sort....i really don't know why i keep getting accused of such things............could someone please enlighten me and quote me where i supposedly said those things?
  • sorry PiOnkh I noticed the confusion and wanted to shed light a bit earlier but then thought maybe people will notice later.
    Please everybody PiOnkh was only copying and pasting what gebremariam was saying then commented that it was completely wrong! remnkemi and mnc_hnn please scroll back and see that these were the views of gebremariam not PiOnkh! there hope this clears this little misunderstanding
  • and Italiancoptic spot on!
  • Ahhhhh that makes sense, thanks for that Omnoor1936. I pushed the quote button in my original message but i guess it didn't work...
  • My apologies Pionkh.  Forgive me.
  • Thank you everyone for your replies. 

    @gebremariam 'I Think If both You And Your Fiance Agree It Is Better To get married when you are ready to carry the responsibility of having children.' It's not that I am not ready for the responsibility, and if it happens it happens. I just don't want it happening in the first year, is that bad that I don't want children in the first or second year of my marriage? I will literally be getting married right after my graduation, I just want to be able to take a break before raising children. The reason why we are getting married is because both of our families don't believe in a relationship that doesn't lead to marriage nor if an engagement period exceeds more than a year. 

    As for the spiritual side of this relationship, it is all good, if he was not close with God and has God at the centre of his life, I wouldn't be getting married to such a person. I just thought I would ask because I don't even know what to expect nor do I have anyone to talk about concerning these topics. I'll briefly talk to abouna next time we go to pre marital sessions (though it will be awkward). 
  • Pope Shenouda III (May God repose his soul) allowed the use of contraceptives in his book “Homosexuality and the Ordination of Women”.
  • edited May 2019
    No matter what you do, you need to ignore the advice of GEBRMARIAM. 

    This has nothing to do with your FoC. You need to consult a Dr.

    We believe, as with the Scientific Community, that life begins at Conception. But we also believe in family planning and using contraceptives is OK. In fact, it is advised by the Coptic Orthodox Church. 

    Also, please do not confuse contra-ception with abortion. Contraception, as the name implies, prevents conception. Abortion is not permissible. That's too late now. 

    I do not recommend getting carried away with contraception as it can cause hormonal imbalance in women. You don't want that, but used in cases of emergency, it is OK. 

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