1. Women's Health
I fell in love with Creighton when my doctor identified low progesterone from my chart so we could begin supplementing before the blood work came in. The extra progesterone potentially save my daughter's life. I entered the Education Program wanting to help women like my practitioner and doctor helped me. During training, I learned that we could identify many other medical concerns besides low progesterone! Below I list the medical concerns we look for at each Follow-Up Session and our accuracy at identifying the condition, if studied. These results come from The Creighton Model FertilityCare System: A Standardized Case Management Approach to Teaching Book II: Advanced Teaching Skills (Hilgers, Thomas, et al. 2017).
We also evaluate for PMS and Endometriosis. Neither of these have clear indicators based on the women's chart, but we ask questions so the women knows if she is at risk and what to expect from her physician. Knowing they have PMS especially helps women to cope with the symptoms even if they don't pursue treatment. I have a friend whose PMS includes depression. Because she knows her thoughts and feelings result from her body's hormones, she can remind herself that they aren't true. If she is having an especially difficult month, she feels empowered to reach out for help.
Most ovarian cysts are benign; however, we never want to ignore them in case they turn malignant (cancerous). The book says that evaluating the cyst with NaPro technology reduces the need for surgical intervention, which is pretty awesome. Also, a fellow practitioner just shared with me that one of her clients recently sent her an e-mail saying that she would no longer be needing Creighton services because she will have her cervix removed. She thanked her practitioner for identifying the problem because it was cancerous and was caught early enough that the cancer had not spread anywhere. This is the true power of charting and seeing your practitioner on a regular basis.
2. Scientifically Sound
The indicators outlined above have over 30 years of research behind them. As Dr. Hilgers reminisced during our training, he shared his amazement at where this journey had taken him. His originally set out to standardize the Billings Ovulation Method. From the standardized terminologies he developed based on women's experiences, Dr. Hilgers noticed patterns between his patient's charts and their diagnosis. To test his theory, he took all the charts he had at the time and organized them by common charting patterns. He was shocked at how accurately the charts reflected the diagnosis. He then developed and published studies based on his findings and named his approach "NaPro Technology," short for Natural Procreative Technology. Since its inception over 30 years ago, doctors from around the world come to Omaha, NE to train in healing women through NaPro Technology.
The scientific research behind the role of mucus in fertility begins in 1847 when Pouchet identified cervical mucus discharge between days 10 and 15 of the women's cycle. In 1868 and 1888, Sims determined that the cervical mucus has the ability to facilitate or block sperm migration. The mucus wasn't successfully studied again until 1952, when Cohen, et al, determined that sperm survivability directly coincides with the changes in the cervical mucus. In 1959 Professor of Medical Biophysics Erik Odeblad also began studying cervical mucus. Five years later, Dr. John Billings and Dr. James Brown, a world-renowned expert in estrogen biochemistry, used Cohen and Odeblad's research to develop the Ovulation Method or Billings Method of Natural Family Planning. Thomas Hilgers standardized mucus observations in 1977 and officially founded the Creighton Model in 1980. Eleven years later, Dr. Hilgers used his findings outlined above to develop NaPro Technology and published The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaPro Technology in 2004 so the doctors he trained now have a standardized reference book for their practice.
Information in this paragraph comes from Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology: A Primer for FertilityCare Practitioners 2nd Edition, Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D.
3. All the Benefits of NFP
My blog Top 10 Reasons to Choose NFP provides scientific and anecdotal evidence for the benefits listed below.
4. Continuous Development
My absolute favorite part about Creighton is the continuous development. Although Dr. Hilgers is surely beyond retirement age considering he graduated medical school in 1969, he still has a million ideas about research to conduct and ways to improve the Creighton Model System and NaPro Technology. His books are full of interesting correlations, followed by the phrase, "but more research is needed in this area." He trains those interested in continuing his research through theFellow Program at the Pope Paul VI Institute. He also trained several doctors to work with him, including his daughter Dr. Teresa Hilgers. Dr. Hilgers's continuation of the scientific pursuit of truth shows his dedication to helping women heal from gynocologic dysfunction.
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Stephanie started her Creighton Model journey in early 2014 and entered the program to instruct others in 2017. She enjoys equally adventuring in the great outdoors with family and friends and reading a good book with a cup of tea. For more details, visit her About Me page.