"What is the International Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine (IIRRM)? "
The IIRRM is an organization of health professionals, researchers and supportive community members who are dedicated to uniting RRM clinicians and supporting clinical research in restorative reproductive medicine. It is a not-for-profit organization based out of London, England with members and affiliated organizations throughout the world.
" What is Restorative Reproductive Medicine? "
Restorative Reproductive Medicine is any scientific approach to reproductive medicine that seeks to cooperate with or restore the normal physiology and anatomy of the human reproductive system. It does not employ methods that are inherently suppressive, circumventive or destructive. This approach respects the integrity of the human person and the right of women and men to have access to reproductive health care that respects their right to understand and cooperatively manage their own fertility, with appropriate medical assistance.
" What is Restorative Reproductive Health "
Sometimes RRM is only thought of in terms of medical conditions, but it also supports and promotes Restorative Reproductive Health which includes empowering women and men to know and understand their bodies and appreciate the importance of natural reproductive health to overall health and well-being, often through the use of body literacy programs that incorporate science based charting methods and teacher lead reproductive health education. RRM comprises many different methods. Some better known methods include medical interventions based on the Billings Ovulation Method, Naprotechnology (based on the Creighton Method) and FEMM. There are several others, including symptothermal based approaches, but they all share a common goal of using information from a fertility chart and working to optimize normal function. There are also surgical methods that exclusively use this philosophical approach, such as surgical Naprotechnology.
" Does RRM use Artificial Insemination? "
No. RRM exclusively supports and optimizes natural reproductive function, so that pregnancy can result from natural sexual intercourse. Artificial Insemination is an example of a technique that seeks to bypass the underlying problem.
"What is the difference between using RRM for infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?"
There is a fundamental difference in approach. RRM identifies what is not working and fixes it, so that conception and pregnancy can occur naturally in vivo [in the body]. ART and related approaches bypass the problem and make a baby in vitro [outside the body]. Many of the issues (cost, side effects, ethical concerns) raised by ART are not a problem with RRM. Restorative Reproductive Medicine would also provide treatment post pregnancy or if no pregnancy occurred aimed at normalizing reproductive function and minimizing long term health issuesthat often occur in medical conditions that have the side-effect of causing fertility problems.
" Can RRM methods help with male factor infertility? "
Yes. Men with very low sperm counts or anti-sperm antibodies can be treated. Often, improvements in semen quality can be made by healthy lifestyle changes. A number of medical and surgical treatments can also improve semen quality and sperm function. Even if the sperm function is not ideal, evaluating and maximizing the woman’s fertility cycle, together with ideal timing of intercourse will often result in pregnancy.
" Does RRM treat couples? "
When treating for infertility or miscarriage the RRM physician treats the committed couple, the male and the female, as a single unit. This process requires significant collaboration and communication between the two and their treatment team. It is often successful in addressing underlying reproductive health issues. The team approach supports relationships that often become strained when dealing with the stress associated with infertility or miscarriage.
" What problems can RRM help with? "
The entire range of reproductive health can be addressed through a Restorative Reproductive lens. This includes Infertility (male and female), Miscarriage, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Premature Birth, Ovarian Cysts, Premenstrual Syndrome, Postpartum Depression, Irregular Cycles, Premenopausal Symptoms, Irregular Vaginal Bleeding, Family Planning, Endometriosis and more!