The use of complementary and alternative fertility treatment in couples seeking fertility care: Data from a prospective cohort in the United States

James F. Smith, Michael L. Eisenberg, Susan G. Millstein, Robert D. Nachtigall, Alan W. Shindel, Holly Wing, Marcelle Cedars, Lauri Pasch, Patricia P. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among couples seeking fertility care and to identify the predictors of CAM use in this population. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Eight community and academic infertility practices. Patient(s): A total of 428 couples presenting for an infertility evaluation. Intervention(s): Interviews and questionnaires. Main Outcome Measure(s): Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine therapy. Result(s): After 18 months of observation, 29% of the couples had utilized a CAM modality for treatment of infertility; 22% had tried acupuncture, 17% herbal therapy, 5% a form of body work, and 1% meditation. An annual household income ofR$200,000 (odds ratio 2.8, relative to couples earning <$100,000), not achieving a pregnancy (odds ratio 2.3), and a positive attitude toward CAM use at baseline were independently associated with CAM use. Conclusion(s): A substantial minority of infertile couples use CAM treatments. CAM was chosen most commonly by wealthier couples, those not achieving a pregnancy, and those with a baseline belief in the effectiveness of CAM treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2169-2174
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume93
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Infertility
  • Motivation
  • Outcome
  • Prospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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