Hope for Infertility through Science
After reading Donum Vitae or Dignitas Personae, one may assume there is little hope, except in the miraculous, for Catholic couples facing infertility. However, this is far from true. Many physicians are now exploring infertility treatments that aim to be highly effective but also respect the dignity of the sexual act; the woman and man; and all the children created in the process. As an outgrowth of Natural Family Planning, the treatments are wholly in-line with the directives of the Catholic Church.
While in practice throughout the US, and even in Austin (www.vitaeaustin.com), the majority of the research regarding infertility has been performed at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction (www.PopePaulvi.com). Using the biomarkers observed in Natural Family Planning charts, advanced surgical techniques and medical treatments have been developed that diagnose the root cause of infertility and then ultimately treat the underlying condition. Where most ART therapies override the abnormality, addressing the specific cause allows for a more focused treatment, resulting in the restoration of the woman's body to its intended God-given design. Whether treating endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease or hormonal disruption, the success rates are higher compared to those of IVF while simultaneously achieving fewer multiple births and lower rates of prematurity. This is all accomplished at a lower cost and usually even involves a prayerful health care team to be present during the struggles a couple still might face.
Ultimately, the success in this field illustrates the profound impact one can make when one allows faith to infuse science. Contrary to popular belief, infertility can be treated by effective and ethical means. Fortunately, research is also being done on a variety of other gynecological and obstetrical disorders and thus, this research is truly a service to the medical and faithful communities.