Written by Maria Belen Eyheramonho
July 25-31 is National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. In a society where infertility is mostly approached through assisted reproductive technologies as in vitro fertilization (IVF), it’s important to address the threat to pre-born life that they represent, and to promote healthy ways to solve fertility problems.
Many couples facing infertility receive “unexplained infertility” as their only diagnosis and, instead of having an answer about the root cause generating their problem,they are offered IVF as the solution. Besides the emotional roller-coaster ride for trying to conceive couples (TTC), the reality is that IVF does not really fix any of the underlying issues; instead, trying to solve a problem, multiple problems are being generated.
There are several hundred thousand embryos frozen in the USA; most of these abandoned embryos are discarded or used for research. Those are precious human lives that we can’t forget in the “concentration tubes” of fertility clinics, as the geneticist Jerome Lejeune would call them in analogy with the Nazis concentration camps.
In addition to the killing of innumerable embryos, IVFimplies other risks to the offspring, like higher incidence of low birth weight and pre-term birth. Not to mention the physical burdens for women, including hormonal hyper stimulation, and many times even dilatation and curettage. Couples face all this jeopardies in hopes of only 25-30% of effectiveness that these techniques can offer.
Restorative reproductive methods offer a completely different approach to TTC couples, through a charting method based on ovulation, properly timed intercourse, and with advice from a medical doctor or practitioner who can help them to know the root cause of infertility. This approach contemplates a myriad of factors like ways of coping with stress, which affects fertility, diagnosis and treatment of sexual transmitted infections (promiscuity can lead to a higher incidence of subclinical infections that can be the cause of blocking the fallopian tubes), and empowering the general hormonal environment through nutrition and life style.
In conclusion, both methodologies consist in fundamentally different approaches. IVF distorts the procreative process while a restorative approach seeks tofind and heal the underlying causes of infertility so couples can conceive naturally. We encourage health professionals to receive training on restorative reproductive methods to hold and to honor human life and sexuality. We are happy to offer help and answer questions both to health professionals and to couples.