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Open Access Research article

Alternative and antioxidant therapies used by a sample of infertile males in Jordan: a cross-sectional survey

Sanaa K Bardaweel

Author Affiliations

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

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:244  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-244

Published: 16 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is frequently used in the Middle East, especially to treat chronic diseases such as infertility. We aimed to examine the prevalence, characteristics, and determinants of CAM use, particularly herbs and antioxidant therapies, among infertile males presenting for infertility evaluation in Jordan.

Methods

Demographic information, use of alternative and antioxidant therapies for infertility treatment, and patients’ belief in efficacy and safety of the therapies used were collected using a face-to-face questionnaire. Data were collected from 428 infertile male patients presenting at infertility clinics in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. The study was conducted between April 2013 and September 2013.

Results

Of the 428 men who completed the questionnaire, 184 (43%) used at least one of the alternative and antioxidant therapies specified in the questionnaire. Nutritional regime; vitamins, such as vitamins C and E; and medicinal herbs, such as ginger, saw palmetto, and ginseng were the most commonly used therapies reported. A correlation between the use of alternative and antioxidant therapies versus infertility duration was found. Additionally, the majority of males using CAM did not inform their health care providers about their usage.

Conclusions

The high prevalence of CAM use among infertile male patients underscores the urge to assimilate CAM into the education and training of health professionals, as well as to improve infertile patients’ knowledge of the safe use of CAM modalities.

Keywords:
CAM; Male infertility; Antioxidants; Medicinal plants