NaProTechnology is a relatively new reproductive medical science developed by Thomas Hilgers, M.D. and his research team. It is based on research that began while he initially served as assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1976. Dr. Hilgers and his team set out to understand human reproductive biology more completely and apply proven therapies to various gynecologic, obstetric, and infertility disorders.
In his original work, Dr. Hilgers and his research team sought to standardize and objectify biological markers of fertility as described by women when they charted their menstrual cycles. These women documented their observations using the Billings Ovulation method, which was developed by the husband and wife team of Doctors John and Lynn Billings of Melbourne, Australia. The Billings Ovulation Method was initially promoted in the United States during the early 1970’s.
Dr. Hilgers and his team eventually developed the Creighton Model in 1981. This model was named after the medical school in Omaha, Nebraska, where he has since had faculty appointment. The Creighton Model became a new method of family planning, the effectiveness of which has been proven similar to that of the Billings Ovulation Method.
Dr. Hilgers founded the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in 1985. In addition to studying thousands of cycles from women using the Creighton Model, Dr. Hilgers and his team correlated the findings of pelvic ultrasounds and hormone studies in these same women. This data serves as the basis for NaProTechnology and essentially has led to a profoundly greater understanding of normal reproductive biology and disease.
So, fundamental to NaProTechnology is determining the cause of disease in Obstetrics and Gynecology and coming up with proven, but safe, therapies that restore and cooperate with normal reproductive physiology. For example, instead of considering a problem of infertility as “unexplained” and promoting an expensive and burdensome approach such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), the physician utilizing NaPro Technology will work with the patient to discover the root cause of infertility and proceed with a therapy targeted at correcting that cause.
NaProTechnology can be effectively applied to many problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology, including preterm labor, miscarriage, abnormal menstrual cycles, abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, and others. Perhaps, most importantly, women develop greater knowledge and understanding through this approach. Such insight enables the woman to work collaboratively with the physician. As such, the female patient’s dignity is truly affirmed.
Dr. Hickner is a Certified Medical Consultant in the Creighton Model and has spent additional time at the Pope Paul VI Institute with Dr. Hilgers and his fellows in training. He has also observed Dr. Hilgers’ team in surgery at Creighton University Hospital. Dr. Hickner incorporates NaProTechnology into the care of his patients. He welcomes questions and discussion on this novel approach.
- Thomas W. Hilgers, MD: The NaProTechnology Revolution: Unleashing the Power in a Woman’s Cycle, Beaufort Books, New York, 2010
- Thomas W. Hilgers, MD: The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaProTechnology, Pope Paul VI Institute Press, Omaha, 2004