If you are a woman who is having difficulty conceiving a child, you doubtlessly know all the usual advice for improving your chances: eat better, drink less caffeine and alcohol, lose weight and stop smoking. Something you may not know about, however, is the potential benefit of chiropractic treatment for improving your fertility.
Chiropractic is a field of health care that diagnoses and treats disorders in the neuromusculoskeletal system (the alignment of bones and muscles and their relation to the nervous system), mostly through physical manipulation of the spinal column and other skeletal structures. It has long been popular for the treatment of back and postural problems, but recent studies in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR) have demonstrated that chiropractic treatment can also have a considerable effect on female fertility. This is, in fact, so much the case that chiropractic practitioners have begun to warn women undergoing treatment that there may be a greater chance of them becoming pregnant.
Examined scientifically, the reasons that spinal manipulation may promote fertility are not surprising. Nerves that connect the brain to the female reproductive system run down the length of the spine, so any compression on these nerves as a result of spinal misalignment or associated muscular tension may well cause obstructions to normal signals from the brain to the pelvic area. One hypothesized role in which this might be crucially important is in the movement of eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
Once released from the ovaries, eggs are carried down the fallopian tubes by peristaltic (rhythmic) contractions, which are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. If the peristaltic signal is unclear or interrupted, then the egg, even if fertilized, has less chance of making it safely to the uterus. Worse still, disturbed peristalsis may even result in uterine tissue ending up in the ovaries or abdominal cavity, causing endometriosis.
There is much anecdotal evidence that women undergoing chiropractic treatment for postural problems have noticed improvements in the regularity of their menstrual cycle, which is also under the influence of efferent nerves. This cannot be anything but helpful in the attempt to conceive a child.
In addition to the published studies in JVSR, chiropractic websites are often inundated with reports from women who have successfully conceived a child following treatment for other conditions (whether or not they were attempting to) and of reproductive and fertility problems being 'miraculously' cured by this kind of medical intervention.
By all means, don't give up on IVF and other methods of inducing conception, but do consider chiropractic treatment as another weapon in your fertility armory. Compared to many other medical therapies, improving spinal posture and nerve communication in this way is a non-invasive and relatively low-cost intervention with proven results, and is well worth a try before attempting more complex procedures to bring you the reproductive success you are aiming for.