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Fertility and Chiropractic

You’ve tried for months, but to no avail. You’ve talked your medical doctors ear off looking and searching for something that may be wrong, but his tests have all come up negative. You’re considering surgery, but there has to be another, safer, answer for why you can’t get pregnant. Well, there is, and we’ve been waiting for you. Chiropractic has helped couples get pregnant for some time, from those seeking out chiropractic care specifically for fertility issues, to those who come in for another ailment only to conceive “miraculously” after months of failed attempts. If you’re going through this, you are one of the six million women and their partners in the US today that are just as frustrated as you are.

The Human Reproductive Process is a Complex and Tricky One

The timing needs to be just right to even have a chance of becoming pregnant. Usually, it eventually happens, but sometimes, something occurs in the process that interferes with fertilization, which results in infertility issues. The cause can be with the male, female, or both. About 40-50% of the time, it’s the female that is having problems, about 20% of the time, it’s the male, and about 30-40% of the time, it’s both. We’ll look at each of these problems separately and provide you with ways to overcome the challenges without the expensive in vitro fertilization.

Causes of Male Infertility – can be abnormal sperm count or function, impaired delivery of the sperm, general health and lifestyle issues, and overexposure to certain environmental elements.

Treatments – include addressing impotence or premature ejaculation. If a lack of sperm is thought to be the issue, surgery or hormones to correct the problem may be used, or use of assisted reproductive technology may also help.

Causes of Female Infertility – can be damage or blocking of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, ovulating disorders, elevated prolactin, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), early menopause, benign uterine fibroids, and pelvic adhesions… and those are the naturally occuring ones. Other problems that females can encounter consist of certain medications, thyroid problems, cancer and subsequent treatment, other medical conditions such as delayed puberty, amenorrhea, or diabetes, and excessive caffeine intake.

Treatments include:

  • Clomiphene – for ovulation problems such as PCOS
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG)– an injected medication for women who can’t ovulate at all
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)– stimulates the ovary to make mature egg follicles
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)– used in combination with the above three treatments, it causes the follicle to ovulate
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone – a treatment for women who ovulate irregularly or prematurely during hMG treatment
  • Aromatase inhibitors – includes letrozole (Femara) and anastrozole (Arimidex), it induces ovulation. It is used in advanced breast cancer treatment. WARNING: this treatment IS NOT approved by the Food and Drug Administration for inducing ovulation. It can cause birth defects and miscarriages
  • Metformin – drug used to boost ovulation when insulin resistance is known or suspected
  • Bromocriptine – a medication for women whose ovulation cycles are irregular due to prolactin levels being too high

The Options of Drugs and Surgery

Fertility drugs put the mother at risk of having multiple pregnancies, which is not good. We’re not saying twins or triplets are mistakes, but an increased number of fetuses increase the chances of premature labor, which raises the chances of health and developmental problems in the baby. If this does happen because of drugs or fertility treatments, they need to be watched very carefully to ensure optimal survival odds and for any signs of birth defects. Other options include surgery to the affected area, but doesn’t always work and is usually expensive, or assisted reproductive technology (ART) which is basically a team of health professionals working together to figure out what the problem is and then helping you to become pregnant. The thing is, it works best when the woman has a healthy uterus, responds well to fertility drugs, and ovulates naturally, basically a perfectly healthy woman that can’t become pregnant using any of the previously mentioned methods that are much cheaper.

While there aren’t many ways to treat male infertility, avoiding drug and tobacco use, and limiting alcohol consumption, is a good start. Also, high temperatures temporarily effect sperm production and mobility, so avoid hot tubs and steam baths.

A woman can increase her chances of becoming pregnant by exercising moderately (but not too much that your periods are infrequent), avoiding weight extremes (overweight is just as bad as underweight) avoid alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs (may affect your ability to conceive), limit caffeine (no more than 200mg, or two cups of coffee a day), and also limiting medications (prescription and non-prescription drugs may effect your ability to become pregnant).

How Does Chiropractic Help?

While each of the treatments discussed tries to help one or two aspects of becoming pregnant, chiropractic helps them all by improving the nerve function between your reproductive system and your brain. Your brain is the “on/off” switch that controls everything about your reproductive system, and when it can’t “say” something, then that something isn’t going to happen, causing infertility in one of the two partners, and sometimes both. Much cheaper than most of the above treatments, and usually covered by insurance, chiropractic is an obvious and safe alternative to dangerous drug treatments that increase the possibility of defects in the pregnancy. Here at Burtis Chiropractic Center we believe that chiropractic helps the body function naturally, like it was designed to.

We’d love to meet you and answer your questions. Give us a call today.

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