There are many different types of health conditions that people will go to doctors of chiropractic looking for a solution. One of the more emotionally charged conditions is that of infertility. Through the years we've seen many young couples come to our office telling us that chiropractic is their last hope. As a matter of fact several years ago we had 3 women with this problem start care on the same day.
Chiropractic has a very good track record helping this condition. But before I explain specifically how chiropractic helps infertility, let me give you some information on chiropractic in general. The main focus of chiropractic is to correct what we call the "vertebral subluxation." Simply stated: a "subluxation" is a condition of altered nervous system function, or nervous system dysfunction. To explain the importance of the nervous system regarding health, I like to quote from the most famous anatomy textbook of all time, Gray's Anatomy. On page 746, second column, 3rd paragraph, it states "The human nervous system is, without question, the most complex, widely investigated, and least understood system known to mankind. Its structure and activities are inseparably interwoven with every aspect of our lives, physical, cultural and intellectual."
The most important word in that quote is "every." The nervous system directs all functions of the human body including the respiratory system, digestive system, immune system, muscular system and in the case of infertility, the reproductive system. Without the brain controlling all activities of the reproductive system, it would be as lifeless as a light bulb without electricity. I know I'm using some strong words like "all" and "every" but they are appropriate when discussing the importance of the nervous system.
So what is the connection between nervous system dysfunction and infertility? When a woman ovulates, an egg will travel down one Fallopian tube one month and then the other Fallopian tube the next month. Eventually it will reach the uterus or womb. The egg does not have any arms, legs or flippers and therefore must be moved along by some system other than itself. The system of transport is called "peristalsis." For those of you who know about human anatomy and physiology, peristalsis is the same method of transportation the body uses for moving food through the intestines.
What is peristalsis? The Fallopian tubes, just like your intestines, are structures composed mostly of muscles in specific arrangements. The muscles are arranged in such a way, that when they contract, they do it in a very rhythmic and organized manner, causing the egg to be pushed forward, from the ovary to the uterus. It's just like squeezing toothpaste out of a toothpaste tube.
Of coarse the reason the egg needs to make the journey to the uterus is so that it can "hook-up" with a sperm and become fertilized. If the muscles of the Fallopian tubes don't do their job or don't do their job correctly, there is no fertilization, therefore not pregnancy and no baby. Not good.
So why don't the muscles do their job as intended? It's not that they are being obstinate. It's that they don't know what to do. If they don't know what to do it's because they are not getting signals from the brain. Those signals travel to the muscles by way of the nervous system. These signals can be blocked or garbled because of a "subluxation" usually in the lower part of the spine.
Madeline Behrendt, D.C., lead researcher for a series of articles in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), was spotlighted in a special syndicated television news feature. The piece was distributed to news programs around the country and aired in many cities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 6 million women in the United States are infertile, and over 9 million use some kind of infertility service.
A series of research papers, published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, suggests that chiropractic adjustments, performed by chiropractors to address nerve interference caused by spinal distortions, could offer hope to many of these women.
The 12 studies in the series found that chiropractic had positive results regardless of the woman's age, number of years infertile, previous medical intervention or health history including miscarriages, blocked fallopian tubes, amenorrhea, colitis, or trauma.
The first in the series, "Insult, Interference and Infertility: An Overview of Chiropractic Research," reviewed 14 retrospective articles on the possible effect of spinal problems on fertility. All of the women in these studies were found to have vertebral subluxations ‑ misalignments and/or related problems of the spine that interfere with how the nerves work. These problems in the spine can be corrected by chiropractors with painless adjustments to the affected spinal area.
The health histories of these infertile women included ‑ but were not limited to ‑ previous motor vehicle accidents, childhood falls, blocked fallopian tubes, scoliosis, and work stress that affected both mind and body. All of the women became pregnant after their subluxations were detected and corrected.
Among the cases cited in the first JVSR study was that of a 32‑year‑old infertile woman who had not menstruated for 12 years. The woman had undergone a number of medical infertility treatments, but still could not conceive. After two months of chiropractic care, with attention on adjustments in the lumbar region, her menses started and after regular cycles for four months, she became pregnant.
If you like watching videos, here is a link to a news story that was aired on the FOX Network regarding infertility.
You will probably have to copy and paste this link into your favorite web browser. Enjoy!
So how do I know if chiropractic can help women with infertility? The evidence is a certain group of kids running around our office.
Please…if you have any questions, or would like any information on any health topic, it would be my pleasure to help you! Talk with you next month………