Dr. Jacky Boivin, from the School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Wales, UK, will say that her research had also shown that women who used complementary therapies were more negatively affected by their fertility problems than non-users, and that this could account for the fact that they were willing to use complementary therapies that were not proven to improve fertility.
Many women use complementary or alternative therapies (CATs) to resolve fertility problems, even though there is little evidence that they are effective. However, it is not clear whether people use these to reduce stress or to increase their chances of getting pregnant. So Dr. Boivin and a colleague from the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Lone Schmidt, set out to study why women made these choices, in the hope of being able to better inform them both of their effectiveness and of other options for achieving pregnancy and reducing the stress of infertility.
They examined the psychosocial and medical profiles of 818 Danish women at the start of their IVF treatment, and then looked at which women went on to use complementary therapy in the subsequent 12 months. The study was the first large scale prospective evaluation of CAT use in an infertile population.
“We found that women who went on to use complementary therapies – for example reflexology and nutritional supplements – during their treatments were more distressed and emotionally affected by their fertility problems than non-users”, says Dr. Boivin. “This difference in stress may mean that women used CATs for stress reduction, and if this were the case it would be important for future research to establish whether CATs achieve this goal more effectively than conventional psychological therapies.”
So far, research shows that psychological therapies are more effective in achieving stress reduction. “But women may be reluctant to ask for this because of the stigma attached, or perhaps simply because they are not aware of the research”, she says “We hope that our study will provide a good basis for women to make a decision on whether or not to use CATs as compared with other available options. We are currently developing brief coping interventions that may be more appealing to people who do not want to use conventional one or one or group counselling.”
The study also found that women who used CAT had a 20% lower pregnancy success rate over the 12-month treatment period. Our findings do not allow us to make a direct causal link between CAT use and pregnancy rate”, says Dr. Boivin. “It may be that complementary therapies diminish the effectiveness of medical interventions, as has been shown in previous research. Or it may simply be that persistent treatment failure encourages women to seek out CATs because they are more willing to try anything to get pregnant.”
The next step for the researchers is to study the same group over a five year period and see how many become pregnant in the longer term. “It is important to do this because we are concerned that, with persistent treatment failure, women might become more and more susceptible to deceptive advertising about ineffective CATs or other unproven treatments”, says Dr. Boivin.
Mary Rice | EurekAlert!
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine