Earlier in February a group of UCSF students called Integrative Health Society (IHS) organized a presentation on Natural Procreative Technology for the student and teaching body.
Natural Procreative Technology (NaProTECHNOLOGY) offers an alternative to in vitro fertilization, or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for the Treatment of Infertility. Natural Procreative Technology is an integrated approach to infertility which involves the detailed study of biomarkers during the reproductive cycle, as well as the correction of anatomic and physiologic abnormalities. Women are empowered by treatment modalities that cooperate with the natural cycle. Live birth rates are comparable to those with ART.
It is an important technology, since the physician’s goal is to diagnose what is wrong with the woman and then to treat it. It differs from ART, where, as is often the case with reproductive health, women are treated with hormones and with artificial technology without ever having an evaluation to find out what disease is causing their problem.
Another important difference is with NaProTECHNOLOGY, no embryos will be destroyed or discarded in a lab once implantation of their sibling(s) is successful on their mother.
Yes, that is something women might not be informed about when they try ART. First, only a certain percentage of their embryos will implant; that is why doctors implant more than one baby in the mother. But they make “extras” for future implantation trials.
What is the future of these babies left in the lab? Destruction after they are no longer useful or the possibility of being the subject of embryonic stem cell “research.”
Is NaPro an effective treatment? Apparently so. According to the CDC, the two treatments are pretty comparable. At age 35, the IVF rate of live births is 32.5%. After 38 it goes down to 25% and decreases significantly thereafter. NaPro rates are exactly the same. Except of course that you have a lower risk of miscarriage, birth defects, and it’s natural! Another important difference: with NaPro, there is no such thing as unexplained infertility. Infertility is a condition that NaPro can diagnose, and many times fix. Again, the treatment differs from IVF, which categorizes a good percentage of cases as “unexplained.”
Again, kudos to the young people of the Integrative Health Society (IHS) for seeking to support and empower students of medicine and other health professions in their formation as Catholic Christian health care providers, and to Mary Davenport for showing real alternatives to cure infertility without having to destroy a preborn life.
To find an Obstetrician specialized in this area, you can go to any of these three sites: