Fertility retreats become latest holiday trend for infertile couples

June 11th, 2009 - 3:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 11 (ANI): There is a surge in upmarket fertility retreats around the world as they are luring couples, who are desperate to boost their chances of having a baby, by offering “natural solutions” to infertility problems - all while they enjoy a swanky holiday.

The Fertile Soul in the US and the Fertility Awakening Retreat in Spain, use a mix of oriental medicine and western teachings-including meditation and relaxation, yoga, qi gong, dance, dietary advice, self-massage techniques and acupuncture.

Such “life-changing” retreats have a success rate of more than 30 per cent, while they claim to resolve complex health problems, including premature ovarian failure and poor ovarian response.

Dr Randine Lewis, who runs the Fertile Soul retreat, has said that she would consider holding a retreat in Australia “if there is sufficient interest”.

Dr Andrew Orr, a fertility speciality for 15 years and a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine at Shen Therapies in Queensland, has said that Chinese medicine, which is one element of the retreats, could boost couples’ chances of falling pregnant.

“Our research does show that the multimodality approach, such as those used by the retreats, is the most effective approach,” News.com.au quoted Orr as saying.

Lewis said that Fertile Soul had between 30 and 100 per cent success rates at its various retreats.

She added: “Most of the people who started coming to retreats, mind you, had already failed everything that Western medicine had to offer them, and were given a zero per cent chance of success by their Western reproductive endocrinologists. We have truly had miraculous results, such as women as old as 48 conceiving naturally.”

On the other hand, Dr Kate Stern, research director at Melbourne IVF, said that not much evidence is there to prove if the techniques used by the retreats are beneficial to fertility or not.”There is no scientific evidence that conclusively shows that acupuncture or herbs either Chinese or naturopathic affect fertility, either spontaneous or assisted,” said Stern.

Stern warned that while the fertility retreats could be beneficial to people’s health, they should not be relied on as the only means of boosting fertility.

Even Orr has warned people not to get their hopes up about the retreats, and to check the credibility of the retreat owners. (ANI)

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