Landmark study demonstrates NaProTechnology is safe and highly effective for couples, even those who have failed IVF.LONDON, UK October 21, 2008.
There is new hope for couples struggling to have a baby says a study released this month in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. As many as one in seven couples desiring a baby seek medical help in their struggle with infertility.
Researchers from the International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine studied nearly 1100 couples who sought medical help to conceive using the new technique of NaProTechnology (NPT). Overall, 52.8% of patients completing treatment could expect to have a successful live birth, most often a single healthy baby. This rivals previously published results for 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%.
Natural procreative technology, called NaProTechnology or 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,” says Dr. Phil Boyle, one of the study authors and director of the Galway NaProTechnology Medical Centre. “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.” Hormonal assessment was continued throughout the pregnancy and support provided if needed. The study also found minimal risk of multiple births, prematurity or low birth weights; all serious complications that are likely to occur if patients conceive using more invasive treatment, such as IVF. Consistent with previous research, this study found that younger women were more likely to have a successful pregnancy; however, NPT was still successful for older women, as long as they were not in established menopause.
The medical care in the study was provided by specially trained generalist (family) physicians, heralding a breakthrough in access to effective infertility treatment. Specialized NPT surgical care was not available at this location during the study period. Integrated NPT surgical care is part of ongoing studies and is likely to result in even further improvements in the live birth rates.
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.”
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The paper was published as the lead article for original research in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, and is available at www.jabfm.com.