Natural Fertility and the Gift of Life

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Eliza Segarra, a fertility Care practicioner, pictured with her son and husband, Jose. Photo: Patrick J Lee
Eliza Segarra, a fertility Care practicioner, pictured with her son and husband, Jose. Photo: Patrick J Lee

When Eliza Seggara saw first hand the struggles her sister Mary-Jane had had with having a baby over ten years ago, she was left puzzled by the response from doctors and knew there must be a better alternative.

“Mary-Jane had had three miscarriages and no-one had an answer. They just kept on reassuring her to relax, go on holiday, try for a baby again and if still no success, to consider IVF”, she said.

“But I knew that didn’t make sense because she was conceiving but not maintaining her pregnancies to full-term”.

“At an Archdiocesan Youth Formation camp led by the Life, Marriage and Family team in 2010, I heard about the Creighton method and I passed on the details to Mary-Jane”.

“It saves a lot of money and heartache since through an alternative method like IVF, they would first have to have embryos implanted before a doctor can actually check to see where the problem lies in the first place.”

“My sister was referred onto a natural fertility doctor who found that she needed more estrogen to maintain her pregnancy and so as I was starting to look towards having a family myself, I knew to also seek out the support of Creighton Fertility Practiioners”.

Now a trained practitioner herself, Eliza is now accustomed to providing support to women to look out for any signs of abnormalities in their reproductive health and then ensuring they get the support they need early on, before they try to conceive.”

“It saves a lot of money and heartache since through an alternative method like IVF, they would first have to have embryos implanted before a doctor can actually check to see where the problem lies in the first place”.

The Archdiocese of Sydney’s social welfare agency CatholicCare also leads training sessions both in-person and online in the natural fertility technique, the Sympto-Thermal Method.

Eliza Segarra and Raimonda Waddy, ambassadors for the Creighton Model Fertility Care System. PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

The method measures body temperature and changes in cervical mucus and cervix position to determine the peak day of ovulation and confirm the beginning of the infertile phase of the woman’s menstrual cycle.

Program Coordinator for Natural Fertility Services with CatholicCare, Ms Ana Maria Parada, said training programs are available for interested couples at Fairfield, Liverpool and Lewisham as well as on-line for those who are unable to attend in person.

“Before considering expensive IVF, these natural methods can be used because it’s really empowering for individual couples and we look very much at the couple as a whole, both the man and the woman”, she told The Catholic Weekly.

“We know that one in three women aged over 35 will have some fertility issues and 1 in 35 men will also have fertility issues which could be linked to their employment situation or their personal health” she said.

“Its Australian-based practitioner and registered nurse, Mr Scott Beacher said it relies more upon computer software than human judgement to assess a woman’s fertility at a given time.”

“Each couple benefits from having an accredited clinician who can work directly with them, looking at their health history and focusing on both women and men and how they can both reach the best health outcomes possible”.

Another natural fertility technique which is more popular overseas at this stage is the Marquette Method.

Its Australian-based practitioner and registered nurse, Mr Scott Beacher said it relies more upon computer software than human judgement to assess a woman’s fertility at a given time.

“All the user has to do is provide a urine sample which is fed into a digital monitor which measures the level of estrogen and luteinizing hormone on a given day to provide an objective measurement of a woman’s fertility at that precise point in her cycle”, he explained.

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