In vitro fertilization less successful with alternative fertility treatments

August 18, 2009

Women who are desperately trying to get pregnant might want to avoid complementary and alternative medicine.

The common belief is that it won't hurt to try alternative fertility treatments before reverting to (IVF). But a new study from Denmark finds that the success of IVF treatment is 30% lower among women who have used alternative medicine. The researchers included over 700 IVF users over a 12-month period. Women who had first tried a combination of alternative treatments, such as reflexology, , or herbal- and aroma therapy, had significantly lower pregnancy rates after IVF treatment.

Alex Polyakov and Beverley Vollenhoven of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine emphasize the relevance of the study for IVF clinics. "It is important, when discussing IVF treatment with couples, that their use of alternative therapies is also discussed, as this may have a bearing on treatment success."

Whether the effect on IVF success is a direct result of the use of complementary medicine, or whether who were already having more trouble conceiving were more likely to revert to alternative fertility treatments could not be determined in the present study. Nevertheless, Polyakov and Vollenhoven recommend being cautious: "Until further evidence is available, it is best to counsel couples against the use of alternative therapies when also having IVF."

More information: The full text of the evaluation of "Use of complementary and alternative medicines associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy/live during 12 months of fertility treatment" is available at http://f1000medicine.com/article/id/1163278 .

Source: Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

Explore further: British cloning scientists to pay for eggs

Related Stories

The surprising power of the pill

March 24, 2008

Women who have tried to conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods are painfully aware that timing is of the essence. There are cancelled vacations, too many sick days taken from work, and the necessity to plan ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Woobie
not rated yet Aug 18, 2009


Well then you don't really have much of a result here do you? The researcher is presenting an unexplored correlation with no evidence of causation, exactly what many CAM researchers are criticized for.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.