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Helping Couples to Have Children

Gianna Center Offers Alternative to In Vitro

May 1, 2012 Saint Peter's Healthcare System Community Calendar Featured Article.

For the thousands of women hoping to get pregnant, there’s a more natural alternative to assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization. The National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility™, with offices in New Brunswick and Manhattan, provides reproductive health services for women, regardless of faith, in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The center, part of the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, combines comprehensive gynecologic primary care with specialized fertility and family planning techniques designed to unmask the true causes of infertility.

Kyle Beiter, M.D.

Kyle Beiter, M.D.

The center offers two natural alternatives for managing women’s reproductive health: NaProTECHNOLOGY™, a standardized medical approach to treating women’s reproductive health problems based on 30 years of research at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, and the Creighton FertilityCare™ System, a modern method of family planning. The center’s physicians – Anne Nolte, M.D., and Kyle Beiter, M.D. – use biological markers such as menstrual bleeding patterns and cervical mucus to assess a woman’s reproductive health and determine fertility patterns.

“Infertility is a symptom of something,” says Dr. Nolte, director of the center’s Manhattan office. “There is a reason that a couple is having difficulty conceiving or why a woman has had recurrent miscarriages. In many cases, that underlying cause can be identified and corrected, and couples can conceive through natural intercourse, with success rates that are as good as or better than assisted reproductive technologies.”

Anne Nolte, M.D.

Anne Nolte, M.D.

Physicians at The Gianna Center use the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System to monitor a woman’s menstrual and fertility cycles. Couples are taught to monitor and record the signs of their fertility using a specialized recording system. Often when studied, the patterns of a woman’s cycle emerge, uncovering underlying conditions that affect fertility. Once couples learn to map the rhythm of their cycles, and underlying issues of infertility are uncovered and treated, they also learn to detect fertility patterns that can help them to achieve or avoid pregnancy on a month-by-month basis.

Specially-trained medical providers use NaProTECHNOLOGY™ to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of women’s gynecologic problems, which are often overlooked by other providers who rely on suppressing a woman’s cycle with hormonal contraceptives to treat symptoms or use potent medicines to hyperstimulate a woman’s ovaries to increase the chance of a pregnancy

“NaProTECHNOLOGY™ helps us to do one very important thing – diagnose health problems that prevent our patients from getting pregnant. We work with our patients to then devise a treatment plan to correct problems such as endometriosis, a condition in which cells similar to the uterine lining appear on other organs, often the ovaries, sometimes causing pain, and infertility or blocked fallopian tubes. And we do this all without using the synthetic, artificial hormones traditionally used to treat infertility, all of which suppress a woman’s cycle instead of allowing it to take its natural course so she can have a baby,” says Dr. Beiter, who sees patients in the New Brunswick office.

There is other evidence to suggest that strategies like NaProTECHNOLOGY™ may have the potential to have more success in the long run than IVF, says Dr. Beiter. “I have a patient who recently failed IVF. We did a detailed assesment of her hormonal function and devised a customized treatment regimen for her,” explains Dr. Beiter. “As is the case with all of our patients, we do our best to optimize a couple’s fertility so that they can conceive through an act of intercourse. She is now pregnant and will deliver soon.”

According to Drs. Beiter and Nolte, there are many women seeking alternatives to hormonal contraception and in vitro fertilization, and now they can find modern and effective options at The Gianna Center.

The Center’s Namesake

The original Gianna Center, led by Dr. Anne Nolte, opened in Manhattan in 2009 with funding from St. Vincent’s Hospital. The hospital closed its doors the following year, but Saint Peter’s Healthcare System kept the New York office open and hired Dr. Kyle Beiter to direct the center’s New Brunswick office.

The center is named for Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician and devout Catholic who died on Good Friday in 1962, just days after delivering her fourth child. During this pregnancy, which followed a few miscarriages, a growth was discovered on her uterus. Given the option by her doctor, she refused to terminate her pregnancy despite complications. Since being canonized a saint in May 2004, Gianna Beretta Molla has come to be regarded as a patron saint for mothers, physicians and unborn children.

For more information about the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility at Saint Peter’s, please call 732-565-5490, or visit