Research: CLARK and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 225

Abstract

CLARK and COLLEAGUES,  (1)Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.  naclark@med.umich.edu reviewed the evidence of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the use of CAM for infertility treatment.

Background

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by patients and physicians has increased markedly in recent years. Many case reports, case series, and uncontrolled trials of varying quality have been completed; however, there is now a slowly increasing number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the use of CAM.

Methodology

The authors set out to identify, survey, and review RCTs investigating the use of CAM for infertility treatment. Search Strategy: The MEDLINE and Cochrane databases were electronically searched. Selection Criteria: RCTs examining modalities for treatment or improvement of health status were reviewed. Data Collection And Analysis: RCTs were included based on use of objective measures, articles written in English, availability through the University of Michigan database, and clear published clinical outcomes.

Results

Thirty-seven articles assessing a variety of CAM modalities met inclusion criteria. Acupuncture, selenium supplementation, weight loss, and psychotherapeutic intervention had 3 or more studies demonstrating beneficial effect. Other interventions had been studied less and evidence for them was limited.

Conclusion

Although there is preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of some CAM interventions among infertile patients, many of these interventions require further investigation before they can be considered for routine clinical use.

References

Clark NA(1), Will M, Moravek MB, Fisseha S. A systematic review of the evidence for complementary and alternative medicine in infertility. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 122(3):202-6. Sept 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.03.032. Epub Jun 21 2013.

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