A Natural Approach for Treating Infertility

September 10, 2019
A Natural Approach to Treating Infertility

NaProTECHNOLOGY® Helps Get to the Source of the Issue

If you’ve been struggling with infertility or other gynecologic health issues, a newer technology available at Rancho Springs Medical Center may be able to help. NaProTECHNOLOGY, or Natural Procreative Technology, helps doctors identify and treat the underlying causes of reproductive health conditions.

OB/GYN Theresa Stigen, MD, who is fellowship-trained in NaProTECHNOLOGY, says infertility is very common, and it’s frequently why couples pursue this treatment option. “But we can also treat endometriosis, painful periods, hormonal imbalances and more,” says Dr. Stigen. “Patients want to know the ‘why’ behind their health issues, especially infertility, and the typical workup doesn’t always give the answer. Much of the time, the results appear ‘normal’ and the patient is diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility.’”

A three-pronged approach

Dr. Stigen initially asks patients to document information about their monthly cycle, which provides insight into any irregularities. She also orders detailed blood work and an ultrasound series, followed by a very comprehensive, minimally invasive surgical procedure at Rancho Springs Medical Center. “This allows us to find the underlying cause of the infertility,” says Dr. Stigen.

A common barrier to achieving pregnancy is endometriosis, which causes scar tissue to build up on the female reproductive organs, preventing fertilization of the egg with the sperm. Dr. Stigen, who has specialized training in identifying and removing endometriosis, says it cannot be detected with a blood test – the only way to confirm it is to look inside with a laparoscope. “I usually remove it with a laser and repair it specifically to prevent scar tissue from forming. This also drastically reduces the chances the endometriosis will return,” she says.

When the results of the cycle charting, blood work and surgery are gathered, Dr. Stigen creates an individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s results and goals. “Once we know the cause, we can implement appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplementation, hormones, and even a trial of certain medications. By using these and other therapies, we can work to restore fertility and the woman’s overall health,” says Dr. Stigen.

New Fertility Health Technology Results in a Successful Pregnancy

After suffering three miscarriages, Amanda Bhasme and her husband, David, had lost hope of ever having a healthy pregnancy. Then they learned about NaProTECHNOLOGY.

When Bhasme’s first pregnancy ended as an ectopic pregnancy, she was concerned about her ability to conceive again. Doctors encouraged her to keep trying. But after two more miscarriages, she suspected an underlying issue. “I was sharing my story with a friend at church and she recommended that I see Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Theresa Stigen,” says​ Bhasme. “During an initial call with Dr. Stigen’s office, I was introduced to NaProTECHNOLOGY. I did some research and decided this would be a good non-invasive way to gather a lot of information about my health.”

Dr. Stigen suggested that Bhasme start collecting data, including three months’ worth of charted menstrual cycles. “It was really eye opening. Dr.​ Stigen suspected that I had endometriosis, and that was the first time I heard that,” says Bhasme. Dr. Stigen ordered extensive blood and hormone work-ups and recommended lifestyle and diet changes. She also scheduled Bhasme for a comprehensive, minimally invasive, diagnostic surgical procedure at Rancho Springs Medical Center.

“Dr. Stigen thoroughly explained the underlying health issues that resulted in my miscarriages and showed us her findings. Working with her led to a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and increased overall health for our family." – Amanda Bhasme

Wonderful hospital experience

Bhasme and her husband share that their experience at Rancho Springs Medical Center was fantastic. From arrival to departure, she and her husband felt well taken care of. “We really appreciated the follow-up phone call making sure everything went well. We also received a card from the operating room nurses – it was a very special touch,” she says.

Following the surgery, the Bhasmes met with Dr.​ Stigen to discuss the video and results of the surgery. “Dr. Stigen thoroughly explained the underlying health issues that resulted in my miscarriages and showed us her findings. Working with her led to a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and increased overall health for our family,” says Bhasme. “She listened to us in a way we had not experienced before, and helped us create a personalized and holistic plan that evolved over time. We highly recommend her.”

Advocating for alternatives

In looking back on their journey, Bhasme says it’s important to have a doctor you can trust and work with, and know up front what you need to do when documenting monthly cycles and ovulation. “Dr. Stigen is good at educating patients on why she does what she does. It’s not a quick fix, but definitely worth it,” says Bhasme. She adds it is really empowering to take steps toward a more holistic view. “Good health not only affects your body in a positive way, but it also affects your fertility. There is so much you can do, but you have to know where to look, and Dr. Stigen helped get us set up with that process,” she adds. “We are so grateful!”

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.