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Mind/body program increases pregnancy rates in IVF treatment
Date:5/9/2011

IVF treatment. Domar tracked the groups through two IVF cycles.

In the first cycle, there was no difference in conception rates between the study group and the control group. "We noticed that only half of the study group had begun the Mind/Body Program and those who had started the program were only a couple of sessions in," said Domar. "This seemed to rule out the possibility of a placebo affect. The mere suggestion of help with stress, it seems, does not increase the pregnancy rate."

In the second cycle, the majority of the patients in the study group had at least five sessions under their belts. "By that point, they had acquired some real life skills to deal with their stress," said Domar. "And that's when we saw the significant increase in pregnancy rates."

Domar found that 52 percent of the women participating in the Mind/Body Program for Infertility became pregnant compared with 20 percent of the control group participants, a statistically significant difference.

"The study supports the theory that psychological distress may be an important detriment to IVF outcome," the authors write.

"We worked with a small group, about a 100 women total, so we'll need to continue with a larger group of patients to see if the results bear out," said Domar. "But there is a strong indication that stress levels and IVF outcomes are linked and that intervening with mind/body therapies can help."


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Contact: Kelly Lawman
klawman@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7305
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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