The effect of using complementary medicine on the infertility-specific quality of life of women undergoing in vitro fertilization

Anat Porat-Katz*, Ora Paltiel, Arik Kahane, Talia Eldar-Geva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate associations between the use of complementary medicine, quality of life (QoL), and lifestyle habits among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Methods In a cross-sectional study, women aged 18–44 years undergoing an IVF cycle at a large IVF center in Israel between February 1, 2013 and April 30, 2015 were invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire. Patients who reported using of at least one complementary medicine intervention to treat infertility prior to IVF treatment were considered complementary-medicine users. Fertility QoL and lifestyle behaviors were compared between complementary-medicine users and non-users with the FertiQoL tools. Results Of 381 patients eligible to participate in the study, 323 completed the questionnaire; 110 (34.1%) participants were complementary-medicine users. Complementary-medicine users demonstrated higher scores for the FertiQol relational domain (P = 0.005) and lower scores for the social domain (P = 0.010). Complementary-medicine users reported greater utilization of psychosocial support (P < 0.001), and higher rates of physical activity (P = 0.004) and consulting with dietitians (P = 0.050). Conclusions Users of complementary medicine reported increased relational and lower social QoL, increased use of psychosocial support, and favorable healthy-lifestyle habits. Actively inquiring about the lifestyle habits and QoL of patients experiencing infertility could be useful in identifying patients who could benefit from psychosocial interventions or lifestyle recommendations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics


  • Complementary medicine
  • FertiQoL
  • IVF
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Quality of life


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