A Natural and Prayerful Approach to Infertility
Caption: The Novak family used Natural Family Planning for help with overcoming infertility. July 24- 30th is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. The dates highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood.
When Anna and Joseph Novak married, they knew they would be faced with challenges when trying to conceive.
“I had a lot of health problems which were caused by endometriosis,” said Anna Novak. “My husband and I both knew the challenges we were going to be facing.”
Infertility is a growing problem in the United States. However, many of the techniques used to overcome infertility have profound moral implications and violate the dignity of the human person.
The Novaks wanted to approach their infertility in a way that would foster intimacy and dignity for them and any future children according to God’s plan.
They reached out to St. Gianna's Center for Women's Health and Fertility Care in Largo, for help. The clinic provides education, support, and training for the promotion of reproductive health using the Creighton Model, which respects all human life and the dignity of participants.
“This model offers an empowering approach to women's reproductive healthcare that is safe from side effects, life-affirming, cost-effective, and clinically proven,” said Diane Hale, nurse, and Education Program Director at the Center. “It allows babies to be conceived naturally which results in better pregnancy outcomes. It does not result in early abortions or the ethical problem of frozen embryos.”
The Creighton Model falls in line with Natural Family Planning or NFP which is based on standardized observations of the biological markers found in every woman’s cycle to help them achieve or postpone pregnancy. These biological markers help women and couples understand a woman’s fertility and is also set up to help couples strengthen marital bonds.
“It really brings the husband and wife together. It's helping my husband know my body, helping him to respect my body, and helping us to grow into intimacy in other ways. Not just the physical intimacy, but also other ways like prayer,” said Anna.
While using this method, the Novak’s prayers were answered when Anna learned she was expecting.
“We were ecstatic! We were so excited,” she said. “Every night at bedtime, we would pray together a novena focusing on the different people in Scripture that had hardships with pregnancy, and how the Lord would provide for them,” said Anna.
They welcomed their healthy baby girl, Charlotte Rose, last November.
“'It truly shows that we are made by God,” said Anna, “I didn't go out of my way to do anything unethically to bring life into this world. God truly made this daughter of mine and really brought her into the world.”
The new mom encourages women struggling with infertility to give Natural Family Planning a try.
“It is natural, and it's so respectful of our bodies as human beings and as women of God. It's so respectful and it's just a very comfortable process,” said Anna.
To learn more about Natural Family Planning, visit: https://www.usccb.org/topics/natural-family-planning and to learn more about St. Gianna's Center for Women's Health and Fertility Care visit https://www.stgiannacenter.com
Caption: Charlotte Rose is a blessing to her parents. They reached out to St. Gianna's Center for Women's Health and Fertility Care in Largo, for help overcoming fertility. The clinic provides education, support, and training for the promotion of reproductive health using the Creighton Model, which respects all human life and the dignity of participants.