A new study unveiled at the ‘Euroanaesthesia’ congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, revealed that treating women with various forms of virtual reality (VR) before sedation for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) therapy lowers the anxiety and could increase their chances of getting pregnant. The research was carried out by Professor Fabienne Roelants, a doctor at the Saint-Luc Hospital of the Catholic University of Louvain, in Brussels, Belgium, and her coworkers.
Along with many other hospital procedures, experiencing fertility therapy can lead to stress and nervousness in women. In their report, the researchers examined the long-term impact of a couple of distinct VR episodes on women’s restlessness before IVF therapy sessions.
100 women, aged between 18 and 42, participated in the study
100 women scheduled for IVF therapy, more specifically, oocyte recovery (OR), were examined in this double-blind randomized research. Anxiety scale measurements have been conducted before virtual reality therapy, after the VR session, and, eventually, before women went home.
Before the OR therapy, women received remifentanil and ketamine, while they were randomly assigned to one type of virtual reality therapy.
The scientists have exposed the participating women to either a virtual reality underwater walk with no environmental sounds or a hypnosis VR session based on breathing techniques to reduce anxiety.
Virtual reality sessions have proven effective
The researchers have observed a very slight difference between the anxiety scores of the two groups but, overall, in comparison to patients who don’t receive virtual reality sessions before IVF therapy the result are significantly positive.
Therefore, VR sessions prior to In Vitro fertilization therapy are indeed beneficial for reducing the anxiety levels in women, a fact which could also increase their chances of getting pregnant.
“The effectiveness of the distraction of virtual reality has been systematically reviewed. Distraction from virtual reality has been shown to be effective in reducing experimental pain and discomfort associated with caring for burn injuries. Technology is increasingly used in medicine, especially psychiatry, to treat phobias,” concluded the scientists.