Does the Church Permit Any Infertility Treatments?

Dear Catholic Exchange:

Are IVF and IUI infertility treatments accepted by the Catholic Church? Which treatments are not accepted, if any are?



Dear Patrick,

Peace in Christ!

If they help married couples realize the basic goods involved in marriage, the Church favors technological interventions. The Church opposes technological interventions that violate the natural law regarding the intrinsic good and natural rights of the human person. In this regard, the Church protects human life and the procreative and unitive aspects of sexual acts within marriage. The following are morally wrong: in vitro fertilization and the discarding of embryos in in vitro fertilization, non-therapeutic experimentation or manipulation on embryos, artificial insemination (including intrauterine insemination (IUI), whether by donor or by husband) and human cloning. The Church has not pronounced on the procedures called GIFT and TOTS.

For further explanation please see our Faith Fact: Reproductive Technologies

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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  • Guest

    Actually, IUI also has not been declared licit or illicit by the Church. It is currently being debated by theologians. One “school of thought” thinks that it is acceptable as long as the semen is collected during intercourse by using a perforated condom (so that the act remains open to life); theologians on this side argue that therefore the marital act is still involved in the process, and conception occurs in the womb as opposed to a petri dish. The other “school of thought” considers it to be unacceptable because the marital act is too far removed from the actual conception. GIFT is being debated for the same reason. Until the Church makes a pronouncement, Catholics are free to use their consciences regarding IUI and GIFT (so long as the semen is collected during intercourse using the perforated condom method). Other infertility treatments that are acceptable include surgery to correct male issues such as varicocele or female issues such as endometriosis, fertility drugs, etc.