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Landmark Study Demonstrates Natural IVF Alternative Effective in Helping Infertile Couples Conceive (2008)

Researchers from the International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine have published a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine which confirms that natural procreative technology, called NaProTechnology or NPT – a non-invasive fertility-care based medical approach to the treatment of infertility – provided live birth rates comparable or superior to more invasive treatments, including assisted reproductive technology (ART) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

NPT was developed from thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. Dr. Hilgers is the director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women’s Health in Omaha, Nebraska. He is currently a senior medical consultant in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine and surgery at the Pope Paul VI Institute and a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Creighton University School of Medicine.

The study was conducted in Ireland and involved 1072 couples who had who sought medical help because of difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term.

Dr. Phil Boyle, one of the study authors and director of the Galway NaProTechnology Medical Centre, explained that NPT can often resolve infertility or miscarriages by detecting and correcting problems overlooked by standard approaches.

“Nearly half the patients we see have been told they have unexplained infertility,” said Dr. Boyle. “After NPT investigations, 2/3 of the patients had a hormone abnormality and more than 1/4 were diagnosed with cervical mucus dysfunction, a critical factor for sperm survival and transport. Once these and other problems were identified and treated, NPT enabled the couples to conceive using a natural act of intercourse.”

Overall, 52.8% of patients completing treatment could expect to have a successful live birth, which rivals previously published results for expensive in vitro fertilization (IVF), which may require patients to endure multiple invasive treatments to achieve a similar success rate.

The NPT result is even more remarkable given that a third of these patients had already failed IVF, were older and had tried longer to have a baby. For patients who hadn’t tried IVF, the live birth rate rose to 61.5%.

Professor Joseph Stanford, the paper’s lead author states: “This study represents a landmark publication that demonstrates that NPT is a safe and highly effective alternative to existing treatment options, even for patients who have unsuccessfully tried other reproductive treatments. GPs and Obstetricians who were previously not aware of NPT will now be able to inform patients that they have other viable and effective choices to help them have a baby.”

According to Dr. John B. Shea, medical consultant for, NPT has not been accepted by the majority of the medical profession because "in reference to female infertility, NPT competes against a well financed option, in vitro fertilization [IVF], that is already deeply entrenched in the marketplace and in political circles."

"Furthermore, physicians who might be interested in NPT experience a lot of peer pressure to view NPT as an oddball kind of medical care simply because they had not heard of it in medical school," Dr. Shea explained.

The full text of the study is available at:

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Study Finds Common Infertility Treatments Are Unlikely To Improve Fertility
[Oct 23, 2008,  Thaddeus M. Baklinski, LONDON, UK,,]