What types of birth control can a couple use? Is permanent contraception or sterilization allowed?

Short Answer

Any type of reversible birth control is allowed such as a condom, birth control pill, or an intrauterine progesterone system as long as it is not harmful to your health. Although having children is encouraged in Islam, a good reason to postpone having children might be because one spouse is studying and wants to complete their education, is living in another country and wants to return first, or has major marital issues and is not sure whether this marriage is likely to last. Bad reasons for using birth control would be thinking that children are a financial burden and would case poverty or that children are a general burden and make it difficult to travel or go out with friends.

Permanent contraception such as a man having a vasectomy or a woman getting a tubal ligation is not allowed. Both of these procedures require a surgical operation and are considered to change the nature that Allah created people with. It is viewed as a type of mutilation of the body, even if that is a little more convenient than using other types of birth control methods. However, if there is a legitimate health risk in having children then permanent contraception is allowed. So if a woman’s life or her permanent health is severely threatened by pregnancy then such an operation would be allowed if a professional medical practitioner advises that this is the likely outcome and there are no other similar alternatives.


It is possible that later in life you change your mind about permanent contraception and want to have children, but it will not be possible due to the alteration you made to your body.

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Shaykh Mustafa Umar