NaPro Technology, or Natural Procreative Technology (NPT) developed and is still mainly taught in Nebraska. NPT has been embraced enthusiastically in countries such as the US, the Irish Republic and Poland.
NPT aims to treat couples holistically. After an initial medical meeting with an NPT consultant to discuss reproductive history and lifestyle, there follows a series of blood, hormone and sperm tests. Couples are then taught the Creighton Model FertilityCare System often in partnership with a fertility care practitioner who is trained to teach the FertilityCare System. Originally designed as a form of natural family planning, the system tracks in detail a woman’s cycle, such as bleeding patterns and cervical mucus that may show ovulation or hormone surges. The two hormones that most interest the NPT establishment are progesterone and oestrodiol and these will be monitored closely. Patients are urged to stick with NPT for at least 12 months and ideally for up to two years. The naprotechnology consultant, will be able to spot any abnormalities that may indicate atypical ovulation patterns, reduced hormone levels or other problems. Medication levels are tweaked for each individual to optimise fertility rather than send it into overdrive. If the cause of infertility is found to lie with the woman, she is encouraged to keep successive charts to show how she responds to the medication.
The NPT medical consultant can use the information from the woman’s cycle to treat the cause of the problem with conventional medical techniques. The treatment may not always be successful but the team will discover the cause of the problem. Unexplained infertility is the explanation given for about a third of cases of couples who fail to conceive and seek conventional help with ART (Artificial Reproductive technplogy such as IVF and ICSI), but in NPT this is very rare.
The list of conditions that NPT can tackle includes endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, low sperm count, lack of ovulation, recurrent miscarriage as well as “unexplained infertility”. It is only couples presenting with an absence of sperm, established menopause or bilaterally blocked Fallopian tubes that cannot be surgically corrected are considered medically unsuitable. The timings of treatments can be tailored to an individual’s cycle. Those working in NPT believe that general medicine and fertility practice is overly reliant on a “typical” 28-day cycle and a post-ovulation phase of 14 days.
Because NPT aims to restore fertility gently, medication is taken at relatively low levels and adverse side effects should be fewer than with IVF.
NaPro Technology (NPT) treats the man and the woman. If a man’s sperm is found to have low motility and poor morphology (a high percentage of misshapen sperm), he will be put on a regimen of health supplements and on medication for three to four months.
NaPro Technology is a developing science which is showing encouraging results. More research in underway. It is here to stay.
- Maria Attard
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