Though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food . . . yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3: 17-18)
Struggling with infertility and miscarriage is a great burden for couples, especially when they so deeply desire to live out their vocation to welcome the gift of children from God. All may seem hopeless. In moments such as these, remember that despite infertility, couples "can have a married life that is filled with love and meaning" (see Married Love and the Gift of Life). It is important to remember that infertile couples are fruitful when their married love is "open to others, to the needs of the apostolate ... the needs of the poor...the needs of orphans" and to the world (St. John Paul II, Homily, 1982; quoted in Married Love and the Gift of Life).
As married couples who are faced with infertility seek medical solutions, they will find additional challenges. Although "some solutions offer real hope for restoring a couple's natural, healthy ability to have children," the general medical approach to and procedures for infertility "pose serious moral problems by failing to respect the dignity of the couple's marital relationship, of their sexuality, or of the child" (see Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology and
The Church, with sincere compassion and empathy for couples struggling with infertility, offers guidance and hope through her teachings on how to understand and approach infertility in a way that reverences and protects the dignity of the human person and respects God's divine plan for married love.
The male and female bodies are made to be able to procreate together. When infertility is apparent, the challenge is to diagnose and address problems so these bodies can function as they should—and there is no moral problem in doing this, any more than there is in other medical treatments to restore health. (Life Giving Love in an Age of Technology)
Today, there are a variety of moral approaches to treat suspected infertility. For example, learning how to pinpoint the fertile window to maximize the chance of conception with NFP use is very effective for some problems (to contact an NFP provider, see Learn NFP). And, some medical procedures or treatments such as hormonal medications, surgery to repair damaged or blocked Fallopian tubes, and other restorative treatments that "do not substitute for the married couple's act of loving union" can help husband and wife to conceive a baby (see Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology).
Throughout this struggle, the husband and wife can turn to the Lord God of all creation and ask that His will be done. This great act of faith, accompanied by striving to seek ways to live the fruitfulness of their conjugal union, including prayerful discernment about adoption or foster parenting, will fortify spouses and help them live their vocation in the love of the Holy Spirit.
Below are resources in which the Church provides theological and pastoral directives on how to approach the challenge of infertility in accordance with the dignity of the human person and reverence for God as the author and creator of life.