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Infertility and IVF: Hidden wounds, premature quintuplets, embryo donation and the procreative-unitive bond

Today we are delving into a complex and sensitive topic – infertility and IVF. The statistics suggest about one in seven couples will be unable to conceive without some kind of medical intervention, and the most popular form of reproductive treatment is in vitro fertilisation – IVF. Partly because infertility is such a painful time for many of those experiencing it, we don’t talk about it much. The same is also true of IVF, even though today in some places the procedure now accounts for as many as five per cent of all births. In this episode we wanted to consider how infertility interacts with both church culture and broader society, for good or ill, and then examine the complicated ethical questions raised by IVF treatment. 

Some links which may be helpful for Christians who are experiencing infertility:

Saltwater and Honey – a collection of voices sharing their stories about infertility, miscarriage, childlessness and faith.

The Rhythm of Hope – an annual retreat and community for Christian couples

Waiting for Children – a course which many churches around the UK run, including HTB who are running it online

My book Matters of Life and Death also has several chapters exploring infertility and reproductive technology.

You can find other episodes of Matters of Life and Death by clicking here, and you can subscribe to receive new episodes sent straight to your device here.

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