By Mickey Kelly
As Catholics and Pro-Lifers commemorated Natural Family Planning Week (July 23-29th), two local OB/GYNs, Drs. Delia Larrauri of Norristown and Monique Ruberu of Jenkintown, used the week put forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to raise awareness of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS) and NaProTechnology (NaPro). The event was cosponsored by the parish community of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and the Friends of FertilityCare – Philadelphia.
Fifty-four men and women, some learning about NaPro for the very first time, gathered in the auditorium of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Philadelphia. While the main group gathered downstairs another group went upstairs for a Spanish translation of the same presentation.
The evening began with a video entitled NaPro: The Quiet Revolution, produced by the Black Friars Media.
In the documentary, Dr. Anne Nolte, formerly of St. Francis Xavier parish in Philadelphia, and the co-founder of The National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility, explained that NaPro is quietly helping women make better decisions about caring for their fertility without compromising their faith.
In her opening remarks, Barbara Rose, nurse practitioner and FertilityCare Practitioner, stressed that the Creighton Model (CrMS) is a Natural Family Planning (NFP) method first developed through research at the Pope Paul VI Institute. It was in utilizing the CrMS that doctors were able to develop pro-life medical and surgical treatments; which we refer to as NaProTechnology, NaPro or NPT.
One way NaPro is different from conventional women’s health is its unique emphasis on normal body functioning. It primarily focuses on the optimal functioning of the woman's fertility and the utilization of information gained from charting menstrual cycles to formulate treatment plans.
Mrs. Rose explained, “The CrMS is taught not just to married women but also to single women to allow them to evaluate their own gynecologic health. It is different from birth control because it goes beyond family planning and allows the woman and her health care professional to monitor and evaluate her health.”
Dr. Monique Ruberu, an OB/GYN at Holy Redeemer, went on to share her experience as a medical professional. She admitted that in her early career she prescribed contraception, yet she later stopped and began practicing medical NaProTechnology. She said it allowed her to practice according to Catholic Church teaching and is thereby “counter cultural.” With the NaPro treatment plans, she explained, she is able to practice “pro-life medicine at its best.” She outlines more of it in her book, Rising with Roses, which can be purchased through Amazon.
“Not only can the Creighton Model FertilityCare System help a woman understand her body, it can also improve her life!” Ruberu exclaimed.
Today she describes herself as a daughter of Christ the King and a doctor who wants to nurture and protect life.
Dr. Delia Larrauri explained how practicing NaProTechnology is truly a paradigm shift as it views fertility from a new perspective. “Thanks to charting with the CrMS we can say infertility is a problem even before a couple attempts conception or if they are using the charting system to achieve a pregnancy and do not get pregnant within six cycles we know already that there is a problem. We don't have to wait a year or two years to diagnose infertility. We can also tell from the Creighton Model chart that a woman is at risk for a miscarriage even before she attempts conception. This is a radical shift from the way I practiced medicine in the past.”
In addition to viewing the film, participants were encouraged to write their questions on index cards to ensure anonymity.
The audience was excited to learn that, within a year, the Pope Paul VI Institute will launch a FertilityCare App, so women can track their menstrual cycles and other reproductive issues.
This App will be HIPAA compliant, include CrMS cycle chart instructions and be able to be viewed on any device (phone, tablet, laptop). Users of the App will be able to communicate with their FertilityCare Practitioner through an internal messaging system.
The Friends of FertilityCare-Philadelphia is willing to bring a NaPro Roadshow to your parish community. Please contact them at www.fertilitycarefriends.org.