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Open Access Research article

Complementary and alternative medicine utilization by a sample of infertile couples in Jordan for infertility treatment: clinics-based survey

Sanaa K Bardaweel*, Mayadah Shehadeh, Ghadeer ARY Suaifan and Maria-Vanessa Z Kilani

Author Affiliations

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Jordan, Queen Rania Street, 11942, Amman, Jordan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:35  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-35

Published: 16 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Although there is little information available to quantify the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), growing evidence suggests that CAM prevalence among patients seeking infertility treatment is increasing worldwide. There are many products available on the market and many infertile patients demand information about CAM from their health care providers. This paper investigates the prevalence of CAM use among infertile couples in Jordan. Additionally, trends and factors contributing to CAM use for infertility treatment among these couples have been evaluated.

Methods

A face-to-face questionnaire inquiring demographic information, use of CAM for medical conditions, in general, and types of CAM used for infertility treatment, in specific, was completed by one thousand twenty one infertile patients attending at two types of facilities; in vitro Fertilization (IVF) centers at both public and private hospitals and infertility private clinics. Both types of facilities were distributed in different areas of Amman, the capital city of Jordan. The study was conducted between May and August 2012.

Results

Our results show that CAM therapies for infertility treatment were encountered in 44.7% of the study sample. The vast majority of CAM users were females. The most commonly used CAM therapies were herbs and spiritual healing. A clear correlation between the use of CAM for infertility versus the use of CAM for other chronic medical conditions has been found.

Conclusions

The prevalence of CAM use for infertility treatment in Jordan is relatively high, particularly among young females, well educated and with a low income, in consistence with the studies reported elsewhere. Herbs and spiritual healing are widely used among patients in adjunct to conventional medical interventions. As CAM use is prevalent among patients, there is a clear need for health providers to become more aware of this phenomenon and for further research in this field.

Keywords:
Complementary and alternative medicine; Infertility treatment