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NaProTechnology is a method of fertility enhancement developed at a Catholic medical school in the United States in response to an encyclical by Pope Paul VI on birth control and abortion. This method of "family planning" was designed for strict observance of Roman Catholic teaching, but the majority of couples who use it, especially in the UK, are not Roman Catholics. The appeal of NaProTechnology is that it is a system that offers the simplest solution to fertility issues, rather than promoting expensive, invasive, time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous high-tech fertility interventions.

The simple idea behind NaProTechnology is that for a child to be conceived, the sperm has to reach the egg. For an astonishingly high percentage of couples, it's enough to ensure that there is cervical mucus in good enough condition to conduct the egg into the uterus, along with adequate volume of semen. NaProTechnology starts by training the female partner to observe changes in her cervical mucus, and if there is a "dry period," to come in for hormone measurement. The system asks the male partner to support his wife in his efforts to keep a calendar, and to abstain from ejaculation for 1 to 4 days before his wife's most fertile days in order to provide an adequate volume of semen and a higher sperm count. Simple interventions like drinking enough water and taking a B vitamin might be tried next, followed later by hormone analyses, treatment of endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in the female partner, and treatment of variocele and other physical barriers to the release of sperm in the male partner.

The focus, however, is always on the couple's control of their own fertility with the simplest, easiest to understand methods. Even when there are pelvic adhesions, PCOS, or endometriosis, sometimes simple interventions work without having to pronounce the disease condition cured. A British NaProTechnology program is run from Liverpool. Program charges for twelve consultations, over about 24 months, is around 1,500, far less than the cost of IVF. The average age of couples in the British program is 36, and about 25 per cent of couples who have a medical diagnosis of infertility conceive a child in the first twelve months. Among couples who just have not yet conceived but who have not been labeled as infertile, the success rate approaches 98 per cent.

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