Saturday, August 20, 2011

IVF and Infertility

Obviously I don't have infertility issues. So when I say these things, keep in mind that I haven't walked a mile in those shoes. I can't imagine how infertile couples must feel. But...and there is always one...I get a little upset when people take their fertility or infertility as burdens. Let me explain.

I went to visit my inlaws in late June. There was a big party being thrown for my husband's grandfather. A lot of people showed up. Practically the whole town was invited. And I was introduced to one of the neighbors. Hubby mentioned something about us wanting our children close together in age, and the lady said something similar about her own grandchildren. But then she said "Yes, my children need to start thinking about having another one soon. They had to use IVF for the first one. Terrible thing not being able to conceive children naturally. IVF is so wonderful" or something to that effect. I can't remember the exact wording.

Now I'm a Catholic. Maybe not the best. (Okay far from the best). And I do understand infertility sucks. But...I didn't know what to say to this woman except to murmur something about IVF being expensive. Was it my place to talk about how intrinsically evil IVF is? Can I look this older lady in the eye and tell her that children are a gift from God and man shouldn't mess with that? I decided since we were strangers it would be better not to get into a battle of theology. Clearly she approved of IVF and clearly I don't.

IVF is evil because it's making embryos outside of the body and then reinserting some of them. If the pregnancy takes, two things can happen: the remaining embryos or unborn children are destroyed once the person decides that they have enough children and/or multiple children are conceived thus running health risks to both the babies and the mother. Some moms elect to reduce their pregnancy. In other words, they elect to abort one of the embryos in order to have a safer pregnancy.

Killing people in the name of wanting a child is murder. I don't know any other way to describe IVF.

Yet, I understand the pain these infertile couples feel and since society promotes this evil, it's easy to see it as an option. I find it funny that a number of pro-lifers don't see the connection between abortion and IVF.

The same thing can be said about other methods of conceptions such as artificial insemination and surrogacy. While they don't destroy lives like IVF, they do affect the child. It's also playing God. But to make matters worse, the people who turn to these methods really shouldn't be conceiving children anyway because they are homosexual or single. Children need two parents. There are too many studies out there saying that to argue otherwise.

So while I usually spend an awful lot of time getting onto people about their fertility, I can say that I've been there. I will get off this soap box because in this situation, I haven't. Suffices to say that if you are an infertile couple there are a number of routes to go. NaPro is supposedly very effective.

Here are some good sources:
Great blog post by Jennifer Fulwiler on the subject
The Cross I Embrace Blog-which a number of people talk about but there are other bloggers who also chronicle their infertility journey
NaPro Technology page


  1. I have definitely been tempted by IVF in my younger years when we were first looking at having children. The desire to have children is very, very strong. Nevertheless I researched the church's position and I totally agreed with what they said. In the end, I realized I would just be having another man's baby, since my husband could not contribute and that was not an option...Adoption has definitely been a great choice for us.
    I do have to say that what I have read so far of Napro is that it is primarily focused on a woman's infertility, which is definitely not my problem. There seems to be very little help for male infertility, especially the type that my husband has. In the end, it would take a miracle either way, and we prefer to leave that in God's hands, not our own or that of doctors.

  2. I don't think I would have said anything either. I have a hard enough time saying something when I do know the person well, because I get tired of the "oh-they're-just-over-the-top-Catholic" looks I get. Which is probably why I end up blogging so much, because it's a great outlet to say the things I wish I'd said in real life.

    And Maria- oh how I would love to hear of a miracle for your family! Or wonderful adoption news! Still praying!

  3. Infertility is heartbreaking. Catholic infertility, I find, is heartbreaking especially because we are so open to life, so willing to bring nine, ten, eleven souls into the world and raise them in a Catholic family... I struggle with it, and like all struggles and grief, they are heard by Heaven.

    I feel held by God, saved from sin by Jesus, understood so poignantly by Mary. They protect me from even wanting IVF, IUI, and so forth. Catholicism is so brilliant because it helped me to understand that being open to life means doing God's will, not having babies to fulfill my own will or to gratify my own desires - and certainly not manipulating the marital act.

    Maria, I will pray for you, too!


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!