Omaha physician to share discovery
This new reproductive and gynecologic science developed at Omaha’s Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction.
This new reproductive and gynecologic science developed at Omaha’s Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. Dr. Thomas Hilgers, director of the Pope Paul VI Institute and co-developer of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology, presents a preliminary copy of his new textbook to Pope John Paul II during a recent trip to Rome. Before meeting the Holy Father, Hilgers, and his wife, Susan, spoke with Bishop James Harvey, head of the papal household, about NaProTechnology. Photo courtesy L’Osservatore Romano be the focus of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals’ 23rd annual conference, which will be held July 21-24 at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
Dr. Thomas Hilgers, director of the Pope Paul VI Institute and co-developer of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology, will present his medical textbook, “The Medical and Surgical Practices of NaProTechnology,” during the international conference.
Hilgers, a board certified in obstetrics, gynecology and gynecologic laser surgery, is a member of the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Council for the Family.
What is NaProTechnology?
Hilgers describes NaProTechnology – Natural Procreative Technology – as “a union of education and technology in a way which allows us to evaluate and treat a whole host of women’s health problems, which does not use contraception, sterilization, abortion or other artificial reproductive technologies, and is thus completely consistent with Catholic teaching.”
What makes NaProTechnology medically different from modern, contemporary reproductive medicine is the fact that it doesn’t just treat women’s health problems, such as premenstrual syndrome and infertility, but it gets to the underlying causes of those problems.
That happens by targeting a woman’s menstrual cycle, Hilgers said.
NaProTechnology enables women to monitor in an easy and objective way a variety of different biological markers that reflect the occurrence of various hormonal events during the course of the menstrual cycle, he said.
As soon as those hormone levels are discovered, “all the sudden you have a whole new diagnostic tool and you can implement treatment strategies, which are very helpful and effective.”
Hilgers, who said he was inspired to create NaProTechnology after reading Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” has used it to help women with infertility problems, as well as those who have other hormone-related problems, like repetitive miscarriages, threatened premature labor, recurrent ovarian cysts, postpartum depression and abnormal bleeding.
The results, although not 100 percent accurate, have been better than what is available to women today in the area of reproductive science, he said.
“Our success rate in almost anything we touch right now is much better than what contemporary medicine has to offer,” Hilgers said.
For years, medical science has been focused on controlling women’s fertility, instead of educating women about how their bodies work and function, he said.
“We’re trying to empower women to understand their fertility, so that it’s not the curse that everybody keeps calling it, but it’s actually something that is normal and healthy.”
Right now, this new technology is mainly being used in Omaha – 70 percent of Hilgers’ patients are from outside the state – but a number of doctors across the country are beginning to use it.
Since 1991, the Pope Paul VI Institute has trained nearly 30 doctors a year in NaProTechnology, and it plans to expand the training program to include post-graduate fellowship programs for physicians.
This summer, people from across the world will gather in Omaha for the AAFCP conference, sponsored by the Pope Paul VI Institute and Creighton University Medical Center.
The theme of the conference is “Introducing NaProTechnology to the World: Medical Science at the Service of the Human Person.”
Open to the public, the conference will feature presentations from Hilgers, as well as doctors who use NaProTechnology in their own medical practices. Six women are also scheduled to give testimonials in areas of women’s health, including infertility, premenstrual syndrome and postpartum depression.
Other speakers will include Sister Renee Mirkes, OSF, director of the Center for NaProEthics; Raymond Arroyo, news director at EWTN, and James Francis Cardinal Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Actor Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in the popular film “The Passion of the Christ,” is scheduled to speak at the conference’s closing banquet.
Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss will deliver the conference’s opening remarks.
A pre-conference program on Surgical NaProTechnology will be held Tuesday, July 20, and Wednesday, July 21.
Registration costs for the conference, which includes all talks, breaks and receptions, is 9 if made before April 20, and 9 after April 20. Additional costs are added for luncheons, the main banquet and the pre-conference. For more information and to register, go to the NaProTechnology web site at www.naprotechnology.com.
Source: The Catholic Voice