The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the United States alone, around 6% of married women between ages 15 and 44 are unable to get pregnant even after one year of trying. A 2004 survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that around 186 million women of reproductive age worldwide have problems becoming pregnant.
Infertility can be heartbreaking, especially when you want nothing more than the conventional concept of a family. It is attributed to a number of causes and with today’s advances in medicine and technology, can be addressed through several means. With healthcare paradigms shifting towards holistic wellness, many are searching for natural ways to tackle infertility, with the chiropractic approach being hailed as a safe and truly feasible option.
Infertility—its causes and treatments?
Infertility is a condition that afflicts both men and women and may be caused by a number of factors. Among women, infertility often has something to do with hormonal imbalance, especially among those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. Other bodily factors include obesity, prior infections, thyroid gland problems and the presence of tumors or cysts in the reproductive system.
Infertility may also be an offshoot of certain disorders and particular activities. Bulimia and anorexia nervosa, as well as other eating disorders, are frequent contributors to the condition. Alcohol and drug abuse, as well as too much exercise and stress can also worsen infertility.
To address infertility, the first step is to determine what causes it. To this end, your doctor will conduct tests (you may need multiple tests). Once your doctor has found the root of your infertility, they may prescribe different cures as needed, such as hormone treatment, medication to stimulate ovulation, antibiotics to counter infections, or surgeries to remove scar tissues and other sources of blockage in the fallopian tubes and uterus.
While these approaches have been documented to be effective, they are not without their side effects. Synthetic hormones used to treat hormone imbalance, for example, are noted to have toxic effects in some women, often complicating existing illnesses like asthma, diabetes and thyroid imbalance. Surgical and pharmaceutical treatments also involve some very serious risks.
What is the chiropractic approach?
As a healthcare approach, chiropractic deals with the relationship between the body’s structure and how it functions . Most chiropractic treatments are focused on the spine and how its alignment affects and benefits the body. Different chiropractors use a variety of treatment techniques, but they work towards the same goal—ensuring optimal alignment of the spine and other parts of the body to alleviate pain, enhance its functions and maximise its ability to heal itself.
In understanding how the chiropractic approach can benefit infertile women and help you become pregnant, you can look at two perspectives: 1.) that said approach benefits the body to enable pregnancy, and; 2.) that the approach offers holistic wellness, which then benefits infertile women in several ways.
In her 2003 case study , Jessica Shelley, DC, discussed how the chiropractic approach enables women to beat infertility. She explained that the chiropractic approach promotes normal nerve function and in so doing, supports good health. Misalignments in the vertebrae that protect the spinal cord, the body’s biggest nerve, disrupt normal nerve function, resulting to dysfunction and disease. These misalignments can also disturb the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which will then have an impact on the hypothalamus and/or the pituitary gland. This disruption impairs the healthy creation and delivery of hormones that your reproductive system needs to function normally.
In a separate study , Tammy Kaminski, DC, presented the case of a woman who stopped taking fertility medication and conceived naturally after nine months of wellness chiropractic care. Dr. Taminski noted that chiropractic care enhanced the function of the autonomous nervous system, helping facilitate a normal menstrual cycle which, in the case of the subject, aided in regular ovulation and allowed for subsequent pregnancy.
Researchers are also looking into more than just the physical benefits of the chiropractic approach. A factor that has been gaining some attention over the last couple of years has something to do with the possible emotional benefit offered by the treatment, which can be just as significant as the physical factor.
Some researchers believe that emotions could play a large role in maintaining the body’s overall wellness. The chiropractic approach helps you deal with both internal and external stressors which, in turn, can help create harmony between your mind and your body. In her study, Leslie Bedell, DC , suggests that emotions can be a significant factor behind the link between the nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems. In this regard, a treatment method, such as the chiropractic approach, that addresses both the mind and the body could be an excellent way to detect and correct problems such as infertility.
In conclusion, the chiropractic approach has its share of critics, but it remains as a viable option for infertile women who want to bear children. Holistic wellness is what this approach seeks to provide by addressing not just the physical factors that contribute to infertility but also the emotional ones. At the end of the day, the chiropractic approach leans on the idea that to alleviate or remedy problems such as infertility, you need optimal quality of life that allows you to live without stress and where there is harmony between your mind and body. Needless to say, to maximise the benefits you gain from chiropractic care, it is vital that you receive treatment only from certified professionals.