The Mind/Body Program for Fertility is a ten-week group program for women that is led by a Domar Center psychologist, who is an expert in the emotional aspects and challenges of infertility.
The program is held at Boston IVF's Waltham Center and offers support for women at any stage of infertility treatment, including those who are currently cycling, taking a break, or who have exhausted what their physicians can offer.
Alice Domar, PhD, the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and a pioneer in the application of Mind/Body medicine, has conducted extensive research to investigate the success of this program and its positive effects on participants.
As part of a large study on the impact of a Mind/Body Program on pregnancy rates, Dr. Domar recruited 143 Boston IVF patients who had just been advised by their physician to move on to IVF treatment.
- Half of these women, chosen at random, were selected to participate in a ten-session Mind/Body Program, while the other half received routine care.
- Unfortunately, the women assigned to the Mind/Body Program began their first IVF cycle right away (they preferred to not wait for the next mind/body group to start), so only nine percent participated in half of their mind/body sessions. For the first IVF cycle, both groups had a clinical pregnancy rate of 43% percent.
- For the second IVF cycle, however, when 76% of the mind/body patients had participated in at least half the program, the clinical pregnancy rate was 55%, compared to 22% in the control group. This is a statistically significant difference.
- Until recently there was a lack of concrete scientific data to offer evidence that higher rates of conception occur in women with lowered stress levels. Dr. Domar changed that.
- There was no placebo effect. Despite the fact that all the Mind/Body patients knew they were assigned to attend a group, this knowledge had no impact on their first cycle.
- This means that knowing you are going to learn relaxation and stress management skills - but not actually yet having a chance to learn them - does not have an impact on conception.
- Women with infertility who learn a variety of skills designed to lower stress, improve lifestyle habits, and decrease isolation experience significantly higher pregnancy rates than women who do not learn such skills.
- This study shows that comprehensive and intensive mind/body services correlates with higher pregnancy rates.
To learn more about how the Mind/Body Program for Fertility can help or to reserve a spot, don't hesitate to contact the Domar Center for additional information.