Catholic Fertility Treatments
Here's a novel idea: a new clinic that will provide fertility treatments and guidance in natural family planning consistent with Catholic values. "Catholic women in many communities feel they have no access to health care that is consistent with their values," says Dr. Anne Mielnik, the director of Gianna—The Catholic Healthcare Center for Women.
The spanking new women's medical center, situated in midtown Manhattan will be the first medical center for New York women devoted to Catholic-style care. Gianna is one of only a few such medical centers in the United States offering alternatives to infertility treatment that is frowned on by the church, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). The women's treatment facility, whose sponsor is St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers, opened for business on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2009.
Gianna employs the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, a type of natural family planning as well as an innovative way of monitoring gynecological health. This is done with the help of something called natural procreative technology, or NaPro technology. Both NaPro and the Creighton Model were developed by the founder of the Omaha, Neb., Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers.
When Mielnik was still a med school student, she hoped to create a program that would offer a counterpoint to the Planned Parenthood style of sex education. Mielnik began fulfilling her dream when she opened the Marietta, N.Y., John Paul II Center for Women, in September 2008, as a response to Catholic women who were pleading for, " … reproductive health care and family planning options which affirm their dignity as women and conform to the Catholic Church's teachings regarding human sexuality and medical ethics."
Joan Nolan, a practitioner of the Creighton Model FertilityCare system, directs the John Paul II center. Mielnik states that the mission of this center is to create branches of the Gianna center in all parts of the United States. According to Mielnik, NaPro technology serves to address infertility by finding and correcting root causes instead of holding back or overriding a woman's own reproductive system. Mielnik states that problems such as hormonal issues or anatomical variations, ovulation disorders, and infections can be treated instead with surgery and compound hormones.
Dr. Mielnik claims that NaPro technology has twice the success rate of in vitro fertilization, when measured according to live births achieved by those women who have taken advantage of this technology.