By the Office of Family/Respect Life Ministry | Special to the Catholic Sun

Are you aware that 6.1 million Americans face infertility? The numbers are on the rise, and likely, either you or someone you know has struggled with infertility along the way. God “wonderfully” created the male and female bodies to work together and bring forth new life, but due to a variety of factors, many couples hit an unforeseen roadblock when it comes to bringing a child into their family. Most never think about how difficult it could be to conceive a child and sustain a pregnancy. But the sad truth is that one in six couples face the stark reality of infertility. Longing for a child in the midst of this media-saturated world can be lonely and difficult.

The big bad word “infertility” can take on many forms, including, but not limited to reproductive injury or disorders, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary syndrome), hormone imbalances, genetic abnormalities, abnormal sperm production, and recurrent miscarriages. Many health factors contribute to infertility, but the bottom line is that it takes a toll on couples trying to start a family — on more than just their bodies. It not only has physical, but also emotional, financial, and psychological effects. Infertility is a distressing diagnosis, and no couple is automatically immune.

April 22 to 28 is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), in which we have a platform to inform and educate the public about a growing issue in our nation, and let couples know that they are not alone in their struggle. This week calls for us to remove the stigmas that surround infertility and open a pathway for those who are struggling to find the help they so desperately desire. The need for best practices in reproductive health are growing, and so is the demand for natural fertility treatments. This is especially important to Catholics, as we stand with the Church in following God’s design for our bodies and respecting life at all stages.
One particular answer to this call is Natural Procreative Technology, or NaProTECHNOLOGY. Instead of controlling or working against fertility, NaProTECHNOLOGY encourages couples to cooperate with and care for their fertility. Not all infertility treatments do this. Be aware that contraceptive, artificial methods, and third-party methods can often suppress fertility and cause other complications along the way. NaProTECHNOLOGY provides a low-cost and user-friendly method of fertility awareness to properly diagnose and treat root causes of infertility. This scientific method is far from clinical — it treats fertility as a gift, and a part of the whole person. To those who struggle with infertility, find strength in the Lord and trust that, as 1 John 5:4 says, “…the victory that conquers the world is our faith.”
You can learn more about NaProTECHNOLOGY, infertility, and natural family planning on the website of the diocese’s Natural Family Planning Ministry.

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