Couples having fertility troubles might try acupuncture and meditation

Mercury News, San Jose, California: A new program at Stanford University uses “mind-body medicine” techniques such as acupuncture and meditation to boost couples’ chances of becoming pregnant.

Backed by studies that show the negative effect of high stress on fertility rates, Stanford’s clinic is one of a growing number that combine relaxation techniques to help distraught couples. Kaiser-San Francisco, Harvard and UCLA have similar programs.

In a Harvard program, 55 percent of previously infertile women who used the techniques got pregnant, compared with 20 percent of those who didn’t.

Researchers say they don’t yet know how nontraditional methods such as art therapy and support groups can turn frustrated couples into parents.

“All the relaxation techniques in the world are not going to unblock tubes, or reverse the effects aging has had on eggs, or undo the damage endometriosis has had,” said Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at Boston IVF. “But you can learn skills that may increase your chances of getting pregnant, that will get you healthier and will get you happier.”

The generally 10-week-long programs can cost participants several hundred dollars. Experts warn that they are not intended to replace medical treatments.

Original article no longer available…

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