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!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy