Why the Creighton Model and Naprotechnology?

Why Creighton and not other NFP methods?
While other methods of NFP are certainly in line with the Catholic teaching, only Creighton gives you that heightened level of specificity.  While I have personally not charted using other methods, I know countless stories of women with perfect charting using other methods, despite failure to conceive. When charting Creighton, for many of these same women the red flags began to present themselves. 

Why Naprotechnology?
In addition to the moral side of things, there are several benefits to treatment using Naprotechnology.  It is about prevention, function-based treatment, and the fact that he puts research into practice immediately.

An example of another doctor’s take on my endometriosis was that if I wasn’t have pain during intercourse then I didn’t have a problem. It is this kind of reactive health care that is the norm. Here's another example: a friend of mine had spotting while not yet married.  She was put on several pills and then the nuv.a ring before it was able to be stopped.  Her doctor treated the symptoms and not the problem.  She got married, went off the birth control, and the spotting returned.  She couldn't get pregnant.  Now began the long road (over 2 years) of trying to find the source of the problem and treat it.  This could have been started prior to marriage when the symptoms presented themselves, as in our case.  For IF, the normal rule seems to be wait until after three miscarriages or over a year ttc without a pregnancy before treatment.  Dr. Hilgers is about prevention. Our path to dx and tx our IF with Dr. H was incredibly quick and direct. 
With Dr. Hilgers, he is always learning new things. I do research for a living. I know that the things he does are not mainstream. I didn’t have the time to wait for the studies to go out in the journals and there to be a major systems change within reproductive medicine. It would have never happened in my lifetime; he is a pioneer.  Other researchers got sidetracked by artificial reproductive technologies and, as a result, research on getting to the cause has really suffered!

With Dr. Hilgers, he comprehensively diagnoses problems and then treats each problem. He uses data to make his decisions, both initially and ongoing.  It seems obvious, but this is not the norm. It seems that other doctors go through the mainstream treatments without ever getting an official diagnosis and then quickly run out of options if the women is cookie cutter.  Dr. Hilgers himself mentioned docs do three rounds of clomid and then send folks to in vitro.  Additionally in his favor, Dr Hilgers works with women’s systems and not against them when providing treatment.  Everything is specific to the women’s individual cycles and work in harmony with how nature is supposed to be rather than bypassing the natural systems with artificial means.

I know that not everyone can go see Dr. Hilgers himself.  I know he isn't the only one that can do what he does. But don't be fooled.  He is the best.  The others that are good were trained by him.  All Catholic docs do not know Creighton.  All NFP docs are not Napro trained.  All Napro trained docs aren't trained as surgeons in Dr. Hilgers methods.  Doing ones' homework in this situation is imperative.

Here is a great link to talks Dr. Hilgers has given regarding infertility and more:

Why Not In Vitro?
Here are 10 reasons to choose Naprotechnology (NPT) Over In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):
1. NaPro Technology Focuses on Disease:
If a couple cannot get pregnant, it makes sense that the first thing the doctor must do is to find out why. This is THE goal of the complete NPT program. With IVF, the cause of infertility is not important and in the underlying problem it is completely ignored. 

2. Success Rates are Better with NaProTechnology:
Recent data from the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, NE, show that NaProTechnology success rates are 1.5 to 3 times better than IVF (23.5% versus 38.4%-81.8%) . In a 4 year study of 95 NPT couples who had been trying to conceive for an average of 6.1 years and had 176 failed attempts at an Artificial Reproductive Technique (ART) Boyle[1] reported that there were 123 conceptions. Life table analysis demonstrated increasing success the longer that couples remained in the NPT program with 26.2% pregnant 12 to 17 months rising to 32.6% at 18-25 months.

3. No Destruction of Embryos:
An analysis of ART data[2] from 1983 to 1986 demonstrated that the transfer of 1,372 embryos (3.2 per woman) resulted in 81 live births. From this data, it is necessary to create 16.9 living embryos to produce one live birth. The higher reported rates of success for IVF procedures usually means more embryos are being transferred which increases the risk of multiple births.

4. No Infanticide:
"Selective Reduction: "One of the most objectionable things about IVF is that it can result in a situation where a woman is forced to deal with a dangerously high multiple pregnancy rate.  Pregnancy risk increases dramatically with the number of babies in the womb. Frequently, women are compelled to selectively "reduce" (i.e.,
kill) additional babies in the womb due to unacceptably high pregnancy risk.

5. Natural Sex versus a Laboratory Procedure:
In IVF, the sperm and eggs (gametes) are collected through masturbation (male) and harvesting (female) where they meet in a laboratory to form embryos which are then reintroduced into the woman's body. NPT, on the other hand, relies on a natural act of intercourse to achieve pregnancy.

6. NaProTechnology is more cost effective:
According to Collins[3], the median cost of one cycle of IVF in the United States in 2001 is $9,226.  $20-30,000 expenses are not unheard of, however, because IVF clinics
prefer to sell discount packages (multiple cycles) in order to increase success rates and allow for "shared" risk. In comparison, at one medical center in Duarte, CA (Santa Teresita), NPT has been cited as costing approximately $9,290 which includes a physician evaluation, hormone and ultrasound evaluation, and outpatient surgical treatment of infertility. 

7. Pregnancy Outcomes:
 There is growing concern that IVF may have significant adverse effects on the children conceived with this procedure. In a study of birth defects after ICSI and IVF procedures, Hansen et al. [4] reported that ICSI and IVF babies were more than twice
as likely to have been diagnosed with a major birth defect by the end of one year of life (8.6% and 9.0%) as compared to naturally conceived babies (4.2%).

8. You could get pregnant again! Because natural fertility is restored with NPT, these couples are often able to get pregnant again. In the Boyle study[1] of 89 births in women who had failed ART, there were 14 women with 2 live births, and 1 woman with 3 live births. Since IVF does nothing to correct the cause of infertility, there is no benefit toward subsequent pregnancies.

9. What will you have to show for it:
Ironically, in some cases IVF procedures cause additional harm to the female reproductive system in the course of treatment. For example, some IVF clinics will perform surgical removal of a blocked and swollen fallopian tube in order to increase success rates[5]. In these cases, when IVF fails, fallopian tube repair is no longer an option. This approach is contrary to the natural and restorative orientation of the NPT physician and surgeon[6].  NPT is designed to restore (not destroy) reproductive function. If nothing else, NPT couples have had the underlying cause of the problem addressed which often results in better overall health.

10. What happens after you get pregnant?
This is perhaps the most important question. Frequently, couples who pursue IVF have not thought about what happens next. Success equals pregnancy. Unfortunately,
ignoring the underlying problem that leads to infertility in the first place can adversely affect the pregnancy and even lead to miscarriage.  With NPT, restoring health and fertility begins before conception and continues throughout the pregnancy with the aim of preventing miscarriage and promoting the optimum health of the newborn baby and mother.

References for this last section include:
1. Boyle, P., NaProTechnology (NPT) � After previously unsuccessful Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). 2004. ]
2. Cvetkovich, L.L., The reproductive technologies: A scientific overview, in The gift of life: The proceedings of a national conference on the Vatican instruction on reproductive ethics and technology, M. Wallace and T. Hilgers, Editors. 1990, Pope Paul VI Institute Press: Omaha, NE.
3. Collins, J., Cost-effectiveness of In Vitro Fertilization. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 2001. 19: p. 279-289. 4. Hansen, M., et al.,  The risk of major birth defects after Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection and In Vitro Fertilization. New England Journal of Medicine, 2002. 346: p. 725-730. 5. Nackley, A.C. and S.J. Muasher, The significance of hydrosalpinx in in vitro fertilization. Fertility and Sterility, 1998. 69: p. 373-384. 6. Hilgers, T.W., The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaProTechnology. 2004, Omaha [Article Search], NE: Pope Paul VI Institute Press.


Copyright 2006 Majella.us David Picella helps couples who are trying to conceive naturally without the use of expensive artificial reproductive techniques. You can read more articles published by him and by other experts in this area at:
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