An increasing number of American couples are utilizing alternative therapy options in an effort to improve their chances of conceiving a child, a new study has found.
A research team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), discovered that nearly one-third of California women who had difficulty getting pregnant tried acupuncture, herbal remedies or massage to complement more traditional conception strategies.
In the study, lead author James Smith and his colleagues recruited 428 couples from eight northern California reproductive clinics and followed them over a period of 18 months, according to Reuters.
At the point of follow-up, the investigators found that 29 percent of couples reported utilizing a form of complementary and alternative medicine. A total of 22 percent underwent acupuncture treatment, nearly 18 percent used herbal therapies and 5 percent employed chiropractic massage.
"We suggest that couples struggling to achieve pregnancy are more likely to seek out any treatment that offers hope," Smith told the news source. He added that in vitro fertilization therapy costs, on average, $16,550, while acupuncture treatment only costs approximately $100 per session.
Acupuncture may also be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with headaches, lower back pain and menstrual cramps.