Infertility has become an epidemic in the Western world. One out of six couples are seeking some sort of medical intervention to help them conceive. This has led to an explosion in the use of in-vitro fertilization by couples desperate to expand their families. It is estimated that over 40,000 “IVF babies” were born last year to satisfy their parents’ desires to procreate. These are children who are at a greater risk for birth defects and other problems associated with their unnatural conceptions. Moreover, there are an untold number of embryos who are either frozen or killed by the destructive process – up to 20 times the number of children who are actually born.

A natural and moral answer to this problem is Natural Procreative Technology, more commonly known as NaPro Technology or NPT. NPT, usually thought of in the context of preventing pregnancy, is being used with great success to promote pregnancy in subfertile couples, in a moral, life-affirming way.

The American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals, which promotes and teaches this method of fertility regulation, gathered in Toronto July 16-19 for its 22nd annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Margeurite Bourgeoys Family Centre’s 20th anniversary. An educational conference on July 17 provided an opportunity for over 125 FertilityCare practitioners and doctors from all over North America, as well as interested members of the public, to learn about the cutting edge research being done in this field.

Dr. Thomas Hilgers, the founder of the Creighton Model NaPro Technology FertilityCare System, gave several talks over the four days. He outlined the use of NPT to evaluate and treat endometriosis, ovarian cysts, thyroid dysfunction and breast cancer. His research showed that NPT physicians are far more proficient at finding and treating the root cause of a woman’s fertility problems than conventional fertility specialists, and do so in a way that corrects the problem and co-operates with a woman’s body, rather than medically suppressing or destroying the endocrine system, as IVF and other mainstream infertility treatments do.

Dr. Tracey Parnell of British Columbia and Dr. Philip Boyle of Ireland discussed their work helping subfertile couples conceive. Working with Dr. Joe Stanford of the U.S., the researchers found that they had as many as, or more, live births than IVF clinics, without putting couples through the various humiliations entailed in that “treatment,” and without creating “extra” embryos that would ultimately die or be killed. NPT pregnancies appear to be better physically for both mothers and babies. Even older mothers exhibit fewer incidences of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes than do mothers who conceive using IVF, and babies are less likely to have a low birthweight or pre-term delivery, which are common problems with children who are conceived through IVF.

Because NPT works better than IVF, is cheaper and less stressful for the patient, and is a morally sound treatment, it has the potential to make IVF obsolete. “When the world hears what NPT can do and is doing, that will be the turning point in the culture of life,” Dr. Parnell told The Interim.