Chiropractic Care for Infertility

Infertility refers to an inability to procreate or give birth to babies despite frequent attempts of unprotected intercourse over a period of 1 year or more. Infertility is a fairly common problem and according to data presented by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 14 million women encounter significant difficulty in becoming pregnant, out of which almost 40% (corresponds to 6.7 million) get diagnosed with impaired fecundity.

Each year, women spend millions of dollars in a number of fertility treatments like ovulation induction by pharmacological methods, hormonal replacement and interventional options like in-vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic insemination. However, these therapies fail to produce fruitful results in almost 50% cases.

For optimal fertility, hormonal symphony is very important. The pituitary gland releases reproductive hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands for the production and release of other reproductive hormones. Any obstruction or block in the passage of nerve impulses can disturb the normal physiology and balance of reproductive hormones that eventually lead to impaired fertility as a result of alterations in ovarian cycle. Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead suggests that mechanical or functional obstruction or fixation at one part of the spine can significantly influence the functioning of the entire spine by introducing “compensatory bio-mechanical changes”. Dr. Gonstead is the founder of “Foundation Principle” and suggests, “Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone.”

Chiropractor practitioners assess and analyze all the patients in order to ascertain the cause of fertility. This is accomplished by studying the potential stressors and the severity of spinal obstruction due to interference or impingement of nerves, dysfunctional spinal joints or vertebral subluxation. The chiropractors utilize X-rays and other radiological tests, postural analysis and a variety of lab tests to figure out the root cause of infertility. In order to reach the final diagnosis, chiropractors may also employ additional tests like applied-kinesiology chiropractic exam, along with balance and bio-feedback exams.

After ascertaining the primary cause of infertility, chiropractors perform a variety of spinal adjustments to restore the normal physiology of the spine in an attempt to improve the flow of impulses to restore hormonal stability. Management of infertility by chiropractic therapies is dependent on the site, severity and nature of spinal defects. In the case of spinal defects and obstruction to the flow of nerve impulses, spinal correction restores hormonal aberrations; and in case of mechanical twisting of pelvis, chiropractic adjustments helps in anatomical restoration of deficits of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes.

Chiropractic care is one of the holistic methods of patient care that helps in management of the nervous and hormonal rhythm of the body without requiring any medical or surgical intervention. It improves overall health and the sense of well-being. In addition, most women experience an improvement in the duration, rhythm and regularity of menstrual cycles; normal ovulation was observed with chiropractic manipulation.

Daniel D. Lyons presented a case study of a 27 year old athletic woman who seeks chiropractic care after trying to conceive for 5 years. Lyons reported that the 27 year old marathon runner underwent a serious musculoskeletal injury that didn’t resolve despite various medical interventions acquired by athletes. When she reported to chiropractic office, it was observed that in addition to the primary injury, the female athletes was also going through a number of physiologic alterations like frequent episodes of headache, neck and back pain, constipation, problems with coordination and balance and history of primary infertility (despite 5 years of repeated medical therapies).

After preliminary chiropractic evaluation, it was observed that the female athlete has evidence of dysautonomia, vertebral subluxation and dysponesis. Various spinal manipulations and adjustments were attempted and within 1 month of chiropractic therapy, the female athlete conceived. She gave birth to a healthy baby.

A latest research report published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility suggested that almost 29% infertile couples employ Complementary and Alternative therapies for the management of infertility issues but the rate is rising at a steady pace.

In addition to chiropractic manipulations, lifestyle habits and nutritional changes also play a significant role. Researchers also suggest different exercises and physical activities to maintain functional and anatomical balance in order to increase the chances of conception.