conflict between faith and fertility treatment

wow where do I start from? I was diagonised with severe endo 3 years and 4 months ago which I had 6 months zoladex for and lap, I had all the side effects of the horrible injections and I didn't have any period for 3 years and 3 months. during this time I was refered to the fertility team and all my blood tests were ok and normal but few months ago I was diagonised with premature ovarian failure and they told us we need ivf to get pregnant. my partner of more than 10 years who has been by my side during the worst times of my life is a good Christian with faith stronger than anything was against the treatment saying to me that doctors don't give children God does. so he eventually followed me to the fertility clinic so when they asked him to do tests for normal routine he refused saying he is not comfortable with it cos his heart says no.from what I read about pof they said I should never have a period again but I found a supplement called dhea which is the hormones our body makes less than 2 weeks on the supplement out of the blue I had a period. few months back I made a decision that am not going for ivf cos of the drugs involved and cos I have been emotionally wrecked I can cry for 3 days non stop which makes my partner looking for alternative cure for my problems. my partner never stress me over this baby problems despite us being Africans, he told me several times that he is with me for love and not necessary for baby. so today I had a mental fit saying he is being selfish and shit so he took me on a date to explain why he reached the decision, 1st he said ivf is not 100 percent, 2nd he said his aunty had ivf twice which didn't work and she nearly went loco but after failed ivf she went on to have 4 kids in 5 years, cos his father died about 5 years ago after doctor gave him assurance to have a surgery which they believed have 100 percent success rate his mind told him not to have the surgery but the doctors convince him which he ended up in coma for 4 months and ends up dying. and lastly he said if we have the ivf and it failed he knows he will loose me to mental illness cos he knows how fragile my state of mind is now, and he continued he will not cope with me being in a psych hospital. when he explained his feelings i understood his decisions and i calmed down so to every women suffering from endo and infertility if your partner say NO pls allow him to explain his reasons before making assumptions in your mind. i believe in my heart that i will one day be a mother ivf or no ivf

12 Replies

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  • I can see what your partner means, but myself as a Christian, I believe that God gave the brain, skills and power to humans to use their skills to help each other. And couples that may have difficulties conceiving they could be helped from doctors. If our religion allow us to be helped with surgeries, medication etc why not for having a baby and feeling complete with a little family?!

    But this is my point of view and my husbands as well and we are both religious. And we are definitely going for IVF if we dont manage to conceive naturally. xx

  • Agree with Jojo, I'm Christian and have a strong faith but i'm in the mindset that God puts us on the planet and gives us the ingredients but doesn't spoon feed us. That being said, I don't think you should do ivf just because it's there, you should do it if you want to. If yup don't feel emotionally strong have a think about counselling, either through your church or from a secular source x

  • I agree with Jojo777, God's hand is in the process of IVF. With the difficulties and discrepancies regarding NHS funding, if you have been offered IVF on the NHS, then that is a miracle, and God is already acting on your behalf.

  • Probably not NHS, because as she says, they are Africans and paying for their medicines.

    I am an athiest so this dilema for me is not one of religion, but of culture; a man who is probably simply scared of sacrificing a few sperm to be checked out for sperm count and not wanting to find out that it could be he himself who has the fertility problem and not the wife, or he has an STD and it has not been treated because he is refusing to accept modern medical techniques that could save his life and that of the woman that he claims to love and has married.

    Any negative result for him would dent his ego and for an African man to have his masculinity called in to question is culturally a much bigger deal than it would be for most Westernised men to accept.

    The excuse of being a Christian falls at the first hurdle, for neither Adam or Eve were born from women. Both were assisted productions. The Virgin Mary got pregnant by assisted reproduction, if what is written is to be believed. And many many other cases written in bible stories are about women who have struggled to conceive and after resorting to prayer, have managed to have a family. Being able to conceive or having difficulty conceiving is an ancient issue and was clearly as much of a psychological trauma 2000 years ago as it is in today's world.

    The main reason the bible and the koran and all other religious texts have been orally handed down and then written down, is to teach the next generation and the next and the next after that. Each learning from the previous generations discoveries and inventions and interpretations. That applies in the animal kingdom too, with monkeys and dolphins and elephants etc learning from the experiences of their predecessors and passing that knowledge and skills on to the next generations. This is what civilization is about. Caring for others, and taking the trouble to learn from others and taking the trouble to teach others what we have learned, sharing innovations, sharing inventions, sharing ideas which help others.

    We make use of what others have gone and done before, when we face a problem. We use technology to learn for ourselves. We use so many things in everyday life that have been invented by past generations from before and after JC, that make our day to day lives easier. Whether it is pencils, pens, telephones, computers, syringes, scanners, bicycles, motorvehicles and so on.

    We don't live in the world that was written about 2000 years ago, we have developed in many aspects of life far far beyond that which is written about in the bible, and in part that is because the book does encourage us to learn from it and from others, and to teach what we have learned where that would benefit mankind and allow us to help our fellow humans and animals and plant species on this planet.

    IF we have a failing crop in a dry field, do we just wait for God to rain on it, and pray that he does send rain, or do we get off our backsides and go fetch water to irrigate the crop? The person who is active in seeking a solution is much more likely to reap their rewards than the man who relies on prayers alone. Yes it will of course rain one day, but if you waited for that to happen the sapling crops would in all likelyhood not have survive long enough to benefit from that rain when it does happen.

    Proverbs 12:11

    Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

    The bible stories and proverbs can always be adapted and interpreted and re-interpreted to suit a person's particular agenda or circumstances as with all religious texts, we read in them what we want to read.

    I don't believe there is a god, personally, that's the way I was raised, but it doesn't mean that I don't live with a set of moral beliefs, that I can't possibly know right from wrong or that i am unable to recognise evil acts when i see them or not appreciate when someone is being selfish or vain or self serving. I think it gives me an unclouded view on many topics, a practical rounded view that allows me to offer help if I can help others.

    If the husband objects to masturbating in to a cup in order to provide a sample because the act of masturbating is condemned as a sin in the bible, then why does the bible also say god is supposed to bless all babies whether conceived in sin or in marriage, whether through assisted reproduction or naturally? If there is a god, then he is aware that at times, it is necessary for a sinful act to have taken place in order for the conception of a baby and regardless of that start in life he will love that baby.

    Is it too much to ask a man to commit to sacrificing a few sperm for the sole intention of conceiving a child, when he is already prepared to wholeheartedly believe that another man (Christ in this case) sacrificed his entire life for all of man's sins?

    From my non-religious perspective, the husband is being very vain and selfish in thinking of himself first, not his wife, of not wanting to help her rather than risk denting his fragile ego.

    He is full of self serving excuses and not being the supportive partner in the relationship. The bible says that a married couple should be of one mind or one accord, in agreement with each other. It also says man should go forth and multiply and it says in Philippians 4:8-9 "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things." in other words make use of innovations if it helps you.

    Proverbs 18:17

    The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

    Matthew 9:12

    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.."

    Romans 12:2

    "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. "

    No surgical procedure ever invented is 100% without consequences otherwise why were they invented. All surgeries have consequences, the good consequences might cure your illness or help you conceive, or relieve pain and suffering. The bad consequences might result in loss of life, introduce infections, leave scarring, leave you disabled with pain.

    It is irrelevant to the issue of whether to have IVF or not, that the father-in-law died fom his surgery complications. It is nothing but a self-serving excuse to use that as a reason not to undergo fertility testing. Everyone of us loses our parents and loved ones at some point in our lives, none of us are immortal beings.

    Nor does IVF have to involve fertility drugs. The world's first IVF baby was not conceived with fertility drugs. She was the product of a naturally produced egg which matured in the mother as per her normal cycle and it was harvested (removed) and taken out of the mother and fertilised and placed back inside the womb through the vagina.

    It is a mother's choice whether she wants to have drugs to produced lots of eggs in one go, which can all be harvested and fertilised at the same time, or whether she refuses those ovary boosting drugs and just has the one naturally produced egg removed each month and fertilised and re-implanted.

    Your husband married you in sickness and in health, and saying he will not cope with you being mentally unwell is very honest of him, but also shows him to be very selfish for he is thinking not of you, but of himself. How will you manage in years to come when you know that you might have had some hope of having a baby but your husband stopped that chance from happening. I can see his stubborness resulting in bitterness and building up of tensions as you will have that regret for the rest of your life while he has no regrets because he got what he wants.

    This is not a picture of a healthy marriage partnership in my eyes. It is one where the man is being stubborn, unsupportive and selfish. While there are no guarantees with IVF just as there are no guarantees with a natural conception, if you have a chance to have a baby then why not make the most of that chance. At least you tried, even if it doesn't work out. In old age you can look back and say that it was not God's will but you did everything in your own earthly power to make it happen.

  • Thanks guys cos a part of me wants fertility treatment to help us get pregnant it might not be now that my head is everywhere but when am ok mentally. Since last night I told him never to talk about wanting a baby anymore since he is the person not believing in fertility treatment.

  • I don't usually comment about fertility issues because a) I am not maternal and b) even if I was, I was unable to conceive due to endo and adhesions and am now too old (menopausal). I cannot begin to understand what it is like to be maternal and have issues conceiving but if all else fails for you, could you not adopt! I appreciate it's not the same as your own child but there are so many

    young children out there with traumatic backgrounds that desperately need a second chance of life through good foster parents coming forward. If there are clear issues between you and your partner on the ethical merits of ivf, maybe this is a compromise if all else fails. I know of people who have taken this path and have found the experience positive and rewarding, turning a truamatized child into a balanced, loved member of the family with hope and a future is an option.

  • We have actually talked about adoption and we actually found a child we have interest in to adopt, the girl is actually born with a blood disorder I was born with.

  • first of all I wont to say , please dont get too upset evrything eventually will work out ))

    I`m cristian and I`ve heard rven conservative orthodox preasts bless couples beafore IVF, so why not to see prist for blessings ?

  • There you go Abbs, it is the ultimate Christian thing to do by adopting a child who needs proper care and family.

    Still insist though that IVF has nothing unethical and get your partner to go and have a nice conversation with a priest and you will see how they support medicine too. IVF is when your egg (from your ovulation) and his natural sperm meet outside your womb and then placed inside your womb. Nothing crazy, nothing unethical.

    If he loves you he needs to understand what is really going on.

    Best of luck x

  • Hi Abbs, I'm a Christian and chose to adopt. I believe my daughter is a true gift. My feelings for her are no less than any mother who has given birth. I would do absolutely anything for my beautiful daughter. Our bond from day one was so strong. Before I adopted some people told me it wouldn't be the same. What do they know? Please be assured adoption is not second best, its a life changing experience that for me has been the happiest of my life.

    Take care and I hope whatever you and your husband decide works out well for you x

  • I totally agree with Allieline, I too an a Christian and have adopted. I did have 2 failed IVF cycles. In the bible we are promised life in its fullness and if we believe in The Lord we must trust this is what will be ours. I had no qualms about trying fertility treatment, The Lord has given us humans gifts and surely the genius team who worked on IVF must have been touched by gift of healing. Be kind to yourselves, don't rush into anything x

  • Hi,

    I think it's the ethics behind the IVF process, which as a Christian would need careful consideration, but it is ultimately a personal conscious based decision.

    Em

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