ART is costly for governments and couples seeking treatment. In addition to any other costs that may arise during treatment, such as medication, consultations and extra procedures, women undergoing IVF experience physical and emotional stress. Furthermore, it is not always possible to get a favorable outcome. Despite all the remarkable scientific advances in modern medicine, traditional medicine (TM) has always been used alongside official medical practices. TM refers to a broad set of health care practices, products and therapies incorporate acupuncture, herbal medicines, special diets, meditative exercises, etc. The main concept of integrative medicine (IM) is that by the co-utilization of TM with mainstream medicine synergistic therapeutic effects can be achieved. This article provides an overview of the prospects of integrating the alternative medical services with modern services in infertility.
Materials and methods
A literature search was conducted through PubMed.
Complementary and alternative medicine plays important roles in women’s health issue. A wide range of TM is used by subfertile couples. Their use depends upon the cause of infertility and the area studied. The reasons for the inclusion of TM in infertility are economic considerations, traditional beliefs, unsuccessful treatment, benefit of using less invasive therapy, etc. There is growing evidence that acupuncture as adjunct treatment with IVF can increase the success.Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) addresses some support needs in infertility. In one study on TCM, women evaluated it positively and suggested a possibly broader future role for TCM in improving fertility. This group of women was satisfied with the personalized approach and continuity of care compared to their experience of fragmented care and lookedfor a better and earlier fertility education about TCM to enable well informed decision making about their treatment.
Since, there are considerable evidences about the effectiveness of some TM therapies among infertile patients, it seems that we need to extend IM as a possible approach for infertility management. In this regard, further clinical studies need to be conducted.