Prayer Doubles Success of In Vitro Fertilization
- I'm forwarding this as more evidence that thoughts can change things,
Cheers, Dave Haith
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Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 11:34 AM
Subject: [nhnenews] Prayer Doubles Success of In Vitro Fertilization
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> PRAYER MAY INFLUENCE IN VITRO FERTILIZATION SUCCESS
> Contact: Annie Bayne <as862@...>
> Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/EurekAlert!
> New York, NY - Prayer seems to almost double the success rate of in vitro
> fertilization procedures that lead to pregnancy, according to surprising
> results from a study carefully designed to eliminate bias.
> The controversial findings, published in the September issue of the
> of Reproductive Medicine, reveal that a group of women who had people
> praying for them had a 50 percent pregnancy rate compared to a 26 percent
> rate in the group of women who did not have people praying for them. None
> the women undergoing the IVF procedures knew about the praying.
> The researchers acknowledge the results seem incredible and say unknown
> biological factors may be playing a role in the difference between the two
> groups. But they decided to go public with the results in the hope that
> other scientists may carry out studies to determine if the findings are
> reproducible and, if so, what factors might be responsible for the
> success rate in the group of women who had people praying for them.
> "We could have ignored the findings, but that would not help to advance
> field," says Dr. Rogerio Lobo, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology
> (OB/GYN) at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and lead
> author of the study.
> "We are putting the results out there hoping to provoke discussion and see
> if anything can be learned from it. We would like to understand the
> biological or other phenomena that led to this almost doubling of the
> pregnancy rate."
> The study, which had several safeguards in place to eliminate bias,
> 199 women planning in vitro fertilization and embryo transfers at the Cha
> Hospital in Seoul, Korea, between December 1998 and March 1999. A
> statistician randomly assigned the prospective mothers to either a prayer
> group (100 women) or a non-prayer group (99). Besides the women, the
> physicians and medical personnel caring for the women did not know a study
> of prayer was ongoing.
> The people praying for the women lived in the United States, Canada, and
> Australia and were incapable of knowing or contacting the women undergoing
> the procedures. Which women were in which group was not revealed until the
> pregnancy data became available at the completion of the study. The people
> praying were from Christian denominations and were separated into three
> groups. One group received pictures of the women and prayed for an
> in their pregnancy rate. Another group prayed to improve the effectiveness
> of the first group. A third group prayed for the two other groups.
> evidence from other prayer research has found this method to be most
> effective. The three groups began to pray within five days of the initial
> hormone treatment that stimulates egg development and continued to pray
> three weeks.
> Besides finding a higher pregnancy rate among the women who had a group
> praying for them, the researchers found older women seemed to benefit more
> from prayer. For women between 30 and 39, the pregnancy rate for the
> group was 51 percent, compared with 23 percent for the non-prayer group.
> The researchers analyzed their data several ways to see if they could find
> other variables that would have accounted for the differences between the
> two groups. However, no adjustments altered the results. The group will
> continue to study whether its findings are genuine and, if so, what
> mechanisms might be at work.
> Other studies have shown that prayer seems to exert a benefit for heart
> patients. The researchers believe theirs is the first study looking at
> prayer and infertility.
> None of the researchers are employed by religious organizations and were
> asked by religious groups to perform the study. Dr. Kwang Y. Cha, director
> of the Cha Hospital and an associate research scientist at OB/GYN at
> Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, funded the research
> through his hospital.
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