Counseling the Infertile Couple

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"Counseling the Infertile Couple"
Being a pastor of family ministries with three healthy children, it is hard for me to counsel other couples on infertility. I have also been on the other side of the table facing these infertility choices in my first marriage. There was a choice we faced regarding selective termination if we did conceive after hormone therapy. In a way, I am glad we did not conceive because my ex-wife and I opposed each other on this procedure. I was opposed to the procedure while my wife accepted it. As a pastor having to counsel others with the problem of infertility, there are a lot of choices to be made regarding infertility.

I believe God has given doctors the technology to assist couples in the process of conceiving a child. How far a couple goes to conceive a child is the problem we are facing as Christians in today's culture. Assisted reproductive technologies allow many couples with infertility problems to bear children. But with the plethora of options come tough decisions. Couples must weigh the financial, emotional and physical costs of each treatment against its chances of success. The ethical ramifications of creating life in a lab is also a consideration Christian couples often look to their faith for guidance. God has given us the job of exercising dominion over all the earth (Gen. 1:26), which includes using medical technologies to assist us in reproduction.

The first step in infertility treatment is diagnostic testing for would-be parents. Treatments may be as simple as drugs to stimulate ovulation or as complicated as in vitro fertilization. Some couples may achieve pregnancy quickly, but others may have to decide to pursue assisted reproductive technologies. Since the first "test-tube baby" was born, in vitro fertilization has become a common procedure in fertility treatment.

A key issue couples considering in vitro fertilization is the use of their embryos. The woman often produces more eggs than...
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