Experiencing infertility is a painful and often isolating experience. It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples in the UK are affected by infertility.
Learning to chart a woman’s cycles, using FAM / NFP, is a useful starting point to understanding what is going on inside a woman’s body. Many gynaecological and hormonal issues can be diagnosed from analysing a chart. For those with irregular cycles, knowing when the fertile window is can be crucial in timing intercourse to maximise the chances of conception.
Approaches to the treatment of infertility consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, which respect the integrity of the marital act and respect human life from conception, include:
Fiat Fertility Care (NaPro Technology and Naturopathy)
These approaches find the underlying cause of infertility and use treatments that optimise the couple’s natural fertility. The pregnancy rate is higher than with IVF treatment and the pregnancies themselves have better outcomes (lower rates of preterm deliveries, low birthweight and multiple births).
Basic investigations and treatments for causes of infertility are available on the NHS. However, treatment options that go against the teachings of the Catholic Church are widely promoted. These include IUI, ICSI and IVF. This article explains more about the reasons why the Catholic Church is against such practices
Church documents explaining the Church’s teaching on fertility issues can be found here:
The Infertility Companion for Catholics, by Angelique Ruhi-Lopez and Carmen Santamaria is a good book to accompany a couple with infertility. This book is easy to read and offers both useful information and spiritual support.