Is it a sin to seek fertility treatments from a secular fertility center?

I realize that some fertility treatments are morally acceptable such as diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of infertility and on the other hand that there are many **immoral **infertility “treatments” such as Invitro Fertilization.

I have been referred to seek treatment from a specialist, a Reproductive Endocrinologist. The only problem is, the nearest specialists provide services with these Fertility Centers that also provide immoral fertility treatments. “IVF” is even in the website url.

I know that NaPro technology is the best and most morally acceptable option for treatment, but I am concerned about the logistics of plane flights to Nebraska and insurance not likely helping with costs.

But I also don’t want to walk into a clinic that houses thousands of frozen people and give them my money so they can freeze more people. I would never undergo any treatment that is immoral or contrary to the sanctity of human life. But I am also wondering if even undergoing diagnostic testing and moral treatments at this center would be morally wrong and complicit with their unethical/immoral agenda.

I don’t think it would be immoral so long as you are not going to use an immoral form of treatment. However, if you can, seek out a NFP doctor. Go to this site:

Just enter your zip code in the text box where it says Find a NFP-Only Doctor.

You can also contact or check out the National Catholic Bioethics Center for more resources:

You would be exchanging your money for their moral services. What they do aside from the services they provide you is their moral responsibility.

It is not the same as the government’s giving PP money, because then there is no exchange so the government is fungibly supporting an abortion-providing organization. (if this is your concern)

No. I think it is permissible to seek fertility treatments as long as you are using you and your boyfriend or husband’s sperm and egg. Meaning it’s like buying the ingredients for a cake and asking a friend to make it for you. If you decide to do IVF and have the embryos used and then some of them frozen for another try down the road, I think it is important to make a point of using them even if after the first attempt, you do end up with a live birth. Each frozen embryo is a person and it deserves the chance of life. If it doesn’t work at least it was given a chance. I don’t believe in freezing or destroying unwanted embryos especially when there are so many couples wanting to have children.

It is not moral to use IVF, ever. The Church has said that pregnancy can only morally occur through natural intercourse. The OP is asking about tests determining her own fertility, which is legal. But as a Catholic, you should not be advising IVF to anyone.

One reproductive technology which the Church has clearly and unequivocally judged to be immoral is in vitro fertilization or IVF. Unfortunately, most Catholics are not aware of the Church’s teaching, do not know that IVF is immoral, and some have used it in attempting to have children. If a couple is unaware that the procedure is immoral, they are not subjectively guilty of sin. Children conceived through this procedure are children of God and are loved by their parents, as they should be. Like all children, regardless of the circumstances of their conception and birth, they should be loved, cherished and cared for.

Thank you for the feedback. Even though everyone has spoken positively about this, the more I think about it, the more I assume it is wrong.

Thank you. I have known about this resource and there are no NFP-only doctors in my area. :frowning:
I may have to work out the travel but really was just looking for the moral and theological reasoning behind why accepting treatment from this place would not make me complicit in their depravity.

I guess that makes sense but this makes me remember a time when I was counseling outside of an abortion clinic when a man and woman pulled up. I offered resources and they said, “Oh no, we are just getting blood work.” And I was like, “Do you know what they do in there?” And when I told them this was an abortion clinic, they looked shocked and immediately turned their car around and left.

I am wondering if this scenario is much different? Why would I want to support the business of a place that freezes people, prescribes masturbation, and “plays God”? I wouldn’t be paying for those services but it would be like getting blood work done at an abortion clinic.

I realize a key difference is you can get blood work done almost anywhere else and there are limited resources when it comes to fertility treatments but when it comes to your soul… either spare no expense and travel to the morally acceptable places or just accept the thorn in your side. … right? :confused:

:eek: Boyfriend’s sperm? Freezing kids? :tsktsk:

I just thought of something else…
My blood work at an abortion clinic argument could apply to seeking treatment from a doctor who also prescribes birth control such as a general OB/GYN (who is not NFP-only) which I have done before… (not birth control, but just going to a non-NFP-only OB/GYN.)
Or you could say that about seeking treatment from a non-Catholic hospital then is immoral because they probably provide abortions on occasion, withhold food and water of the dying, etc.
:confused::confused::confused: hmmmmm… So conflicted!

A fertility center though unlike a stand-alone doctor or hospital seems more like their business IS that of disregarding the sanctity of human life and marriage. Some of what they do does not but their hallmark service does. So is that the difference?

I wonder if I had asked, “Is it a sin to get blood work done at an abortion clinic?” how people would have answered.

I think it would not be sinful to get bloodwork done at an abortion clinic either… except it *might *cause scandal if the clinic were not well-known for doing things other than abortion.

OTOH, a fertility clinic is “advertising” itself as doing a number of different things, so I don’t think the issue of scandal would come into play.

You are making a fair exchange for (not “supporting”) the part of the business which does moral things. Imagine if all or most of their patients only wanted the moral treatments–the immoral side of their business wiuld shrivel up!

i understand your difficulties because for a while it looked like we would have to travel a long way to get Na-Pro (fortunately the problem resolved on its own).

You are probably right.

And cool about your experience- pray for me :slight_smile:


That is an interesting question. Why don’t you post it in “ask an apologist” forum?

My personal (uninformed) feeling is that you objectively need a specialist for your treatment. Your choice is between an RE and a napro doctor. It is a big burden to seek a napro doctor at this time. I think you can go to the RE, if you are sure that you are strong enough to say “no” to the immoral treatments they might offer you. Have them diagnose you, so you have more information and there are moral treatments they will be able to provide you. I go to an ob/gyn who is prolife, although not catholic. He also does infertility treatment/diagnostic, but not on the scale that REs or napro doctors do. I think that the office prescribes contraception as well, but I never thought of it as a moral problem before. Unfortunately, if we insist to go to a doctor that is 100% in line with the Church’s teaching, we might be unable to get the medical care we need. I do not think that is what God or Church require of us.

Couple of more things. First is there a different RE nearby that does not so obviously focus on IVF? Or a prolife ob/gyn that will work with you? Because chances are if the practice prominently displays ivf on their website, that will be their first line of treatment and they will make you uncomfortable. I think you might have more choices than this particular RE group or napro. Second, if you think about using a napro doctor down the line, you should find a creighton model practitioner and start charting as soon as possible. They will not treat you unless you have few months of creighton model charts worth, it is an integral part of their diagnostic process. The practitioners also often know about the doctors in the area willing to work with you, although they might not be officially trained in Nebraska. Try your diocese’s website to find one - at least our diocese has that information online. Your parish might have some information as well. I am sorry if I am getting this thread off track, but if you want to talk to me more, send me a PM.

This is sort of how I lean, too, but I am not an expert and this would probably be a question worth posing to the Ask an Apologist forum. (And ask your priest, too!) I do think that regardless of the morality of seeking non-IVF treatment there, you may run into a lot of pressure from them to pursue IVF since it’s such a big part of their business. A lot of reproductive endocrinology clinics don’t do much work other than IVF, so if you are attempting to pursue non-IVF treatment there, it’s very possible you will end up frustrated by the pressure toward IVF. I encountered more than one RE who were more interested in pursuing IVF than correcting my underlying problems – which was a huge frustration for me.

If Nebraska is too logistically difficult, what about traveling to a NaPro doctor somewhat closer? I don’t know where you live, but perhaps there is a NaPro doctor or surgeon who would be easier to travel to? I personally drove 5 hours one-way to see a very good NaPro doctor in a state bordering mine. It was logistically much easier and cheaper than traveling to Omaha, and my treatment there was successful. Feel free to PM me if you want.

Wow, that is hard to consider. I think if you have no intent of participating in IVF, and only using acceptable means to address your infertility issues, then you are fine. But I understand the concern, as any money that goes their way would of course be part of how they support ALL of their work.

I guess it depends on how you eventually feel about your particular focus, and input from your Pastor. This is a very expensive undertaking if there will be no insurance coverage and very often at least 4 or more attempts are needed for success. This must also be part of your decision making process.

I had a friend who underwent surgery and made one attempt of Artificial Insemination after wards. It cost her 40K and that was over 10 years ago. She committed to one attempt only due to cost and her sense that if it failed then she should not try anymore. Maybe you will need to something similar, like try twice and then stop?

I know what it is to want a child and not be able to have one. It is a painful reality and very difficult spiritually. I will pray for you in this time of need and desire. And please don’t give up on the idea of adoption if you learn that you simply will not be able to have a child of your own.

I pray for you that God will grant you His Peace and Mercy.

Who needs plane flights – they (Paul VI institute in Nebraska) have doctors they have trained --all over the place!. One does not need to go to Nebraska! Just give them a call. They can then if need be get a consult with Paul VI center…but such is not per se needed.

Napro technology is basically not a new concept - most good docs use medication and surgery before suggesting any form of IVF. as the mother of a daughter with Stage 4 endometriosis, her specialists at Cedars Sinai in LA have used medication and surgeries to prolong her fertility. There is a great myth on CAF that the only morally acceptable clinic to receive treatment is in Nebraska.:shrug:

Certainly there are good doctors in places other than Nebraska. (Within the Catholic infertility blog community, I’ve seen recently the names of several doctors highly recommended for reproductive immunology – none of whom trained in Nebraska.) I myself never did go to Omaha or even do a phone consult with them. I found that the big RE practices in our area were so focused on IVF that there was a lot of pressure to go that direction even before other treatment options were fully explored. The NaPro-trained doctor I saw didn’t even have IVF as an option so there was no pressure. Interestingly the specific treatment option I asked an RE about and was told, “oh, no, that definitely wouldn’t work and we don’t do that here” was the treatment my body needed. :shrug:

This kind of pressure toward IVF might not exist at all clinics, but it is something for patients to keep in mind as a possibility.

Hey, thanks everyone. I think it is great advice to just do some more research and possibly seek out another doctor in a private practice or within at least driving distance from me who is either NFP/ or Napro etc. I’m slightly hesitant to contact the closest in particular (2 hours away) because they use the Creighton model and I’m worried they will make me chart for a year before getting treatment. I have been charting for 6 years, even before I was married but with the STM. Obviously I should probably just call and ask, haha, and not assume. I just posed this question here about fertility centers as that is what was recommended to me and is local, etc.

I hadn’t thought about the pressure that the fertility center would use to persuade me to use IVF because as much as I would like to have a child,* I want to go to Heaven more.* I am extremely confident that I would not be persuaded to haphazardly throw our gametes around! I would just like affordable and morally sound TREATMENT, not frankenscience.

I’ll Ask an Apologist and see what happens.

Wow, that’s odd because I found a NaPro doctor in another state but definitely on the East Coast.

Pressure is definitely something to watch out for. After my last baby was born (last by God’s will not mine!), the doctors at my OB/GYN asked what kind of abc I wanted to use… I said, no, I don’t want any, and they kept asking me and I felt really embarrassed about the topic so i said I’m Catholic! And they said That’s ok… (!!!)

if I had thought ahead of time that they might do that, I wouldn’t have been so flustered about it.

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