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Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer?

15 Aug
When Dr. Rogerio Lobo, Chair of Columbia Presbyterian''s Department of OBGYN, and Dr. Kwang Y. Cha, a researcher at Cha Hospital in Seoul, studied the effect of intercessory prayer on the pregnancy rates of 219 women, aged 26-46 years old, being treated with in vitro fertilization, they found that the prayed-for group had double the pregnancy rate (50% vs. 26%, P = .0013) and double the implantation rate (16.3% vs. 8%, P = .0005).

This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, in which patients and providers were not informed about the intervention. Statisticians and investigators were masked until all the data had been collected and all the clinical outcomes were known. The setting was an IVF-ET program at Cha Hospital, Seoul, Korea. The intercessory prayer was carried out by prayer groups in the United States, Canada and Australia. The investigators were at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the United States.

The study concludes that there was a statistically significant difference for the effect of intercessory prayer on the outcome of In Vitro Fertilization.

A nice write up of the study can be found here.

Citation: Cha KY, Wirth DP, Lobo RA. Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer? Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2001 Sep; 46 (9): 781-7.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award