Infertility and Healing
Marriage and Respect Life
400 E. Monroe
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Director of Marriage and Respect Life
Coordinator of Respect Life Parish Leadership Support
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame.”
“Nevertheless, whatever its cause or prognosis, sterility is certainly a difficult trial. The community of believers is called to shed light upon and support the suffering of those who are unable to fulfill their legitimate aspiration to motherhood and fatherhood. Spouses who find themselves in this sad situation are called to find in it an opportunity for sharing in a particular way in the Lord's Cross, the source of spiritual fruitfulness.”
—Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Donum Vitae – The Gift of Life, 1987
Many couples struggling with infertility are searching for the reasons why they are infertile, why the Church does not morally allow certain procedures, and what moral means they may take to conceive a child. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote on this issue in their letter Donum Vitae. They said:
“Sterile couples must not forget that "even when procreation is not possible, conjugal life does not for this reason lose its value. Physical sterility in fact can be for spouses the occasion for other important services to the life of the human person, for example, adoption, various forms of educational work, and assistance to other families and to poor or handicapped children". Many researchers are engaged in the fight against sterility. While fully safeguarding the dignity of human procreation, some have achieved results which previously seemed unattainable. Scientists therefore are to be encouraged to continue their research with the aim of preventing the causes of sterility and of being able to remedy them so that sterile couples will be able to procreate in full respect for their own personal dignity and that of the child to be born.”
One promising avenue for treatment of infertility is NaPro. According to their website, “Unlike common suppressive or destructive approaches, NaPro technology works cooperatively with the procreative and gynecologic systems. When these systems function abnormally, NaPro technology identifies the problems and cooperates with the menstrual and fertility cycles that correct the condition, maintain the human ecology, and sustain the procreative potential.”
If you are considering in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to conceive a child, please visit our webpage describing the Church’s teachings on IVF.
NaPro Reproductive Technologies – “NaProTECHNOLOGY (Natural Procreative Technology) is a new women's health science that monitors and maintains a woman's reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system. Thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles have unraveled their mysteries.”
Pope Paul VI Institute: A center for the study of morally and professionally acceptable reproductive health services dedicated to research, education and providing service to families. The Institute is devoted to Natural Family Planning, responsible parenthood, responsible fertility regulation, and ethical means for the treatment of infertility and related reproductive disorders.
“Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Addresses biomedical issues including experimentation on human embryos, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood and cloning.
Check out "Babies Deserve Better: What You Need to Know If You're Struggling with Infertility," an article from Catholic Answers
Artificial Fertilization and the Christian Response by Dr. Chris Kahlenborn