Physical Therapy Can Increase Fertility and Help In Getting Pregnant July 28, 2015 14:20

Infertility can be one of the most heartbreaking medical issues for a woman to deal with. It's hard physically, with so many possible causes and relatively few solutions, but it's also devastating emotionally, as you usually don't discover it until you have set your hopes on having a baby. And with 11 percent of American women suffering from infertility and 7.4 million women shelling out for crazy expensive fertility treatments like in-vitro fertilization, it's one of the biggest healthcare costs in the country. The medical community has made great strides, but even advanced technologies like IVF only have a 20 to 30 percent success rate despite the hefty price tag.

But a new study shows promise in helping to treat infertility using a special physical therapy technique that's not only cheaper, but also less invasive and easier than most traditional practices.

The research, published in the journal Alternative Therapies, looked at over 1,300 women who suffer from the three primary causes of infertility: pain during sex, hormonal imbalances, and adhesions. They found that after they went through physical therapy, the women experienced a 40 to 60 percent success rate in getting pregnant (depending on the underlying cause of their infertility). The therapy specifically benefited women with blocked fallopian tubes (60 percent became pregnant), polycystic ovarian syndrome (53 percent), high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, an indicator of ovarian failure, (40 percent), and endometriosis (43 percent). This specialized physical therapy has even helped patients undergoing IVF raise their success rates to 56 percent and even 83 percent in some cases

This isn't your regular ol' PT though. The specialized method of physical therapy decreases adhesions, or internal scars that occur wherever the body heals from infection, inflammation, surgery, trauma or endometriosis (a condition where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus), says Larry Wurn, lead author and a massage therapist who developed the technique used in the study. These adhesions act like an internal glue and can block fallopian tubes, cover the ovaries so eggs cannot escape, or form on the walls of the uterus, decreasing the chance for implantation. "Reproductive structures need mobility in order to function correctly. This therapy removes the glue-like adhesions that bind structures," he adds.