A Review of Complementary and Alternative Care for Infertility Issues

The above is the title of a research report published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. The article looks at the various forms of health care for couples with infertility issues. The author reviews infertility, then compares conventional medical care with several forms of non-medical (alternative) care, including chiropractic.

The author first reviews the issue of infertility and notes that “infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after trying for one year”. According to the report, in the United States, 7.3 million women between the ages of 15-44 have impaired fertility equaling 11.8% of the female population.

The study notes that over 7.3 million women have used infertility services. The author also reports that 20% of all infertility cases involve both male and female fertility issues, while 35% involve only male issues, and 35% involve only female issues with 10% being unknown.

The study notes that the typical medical approach involves either fertility medications, surgical intervention, such as laparoscopy, or operative hysteroscopy, and Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The author also reviewed such non-medical approaches such as Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Nutrition, looking at the approach each of these uses in the treatment of infertility.

Chiropractic care was discussed in detail as it relates to the care of those struggling with infertility. The author begins by offering the definition of chiropractic as presented by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), “Chiropractic is concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation.” The author goes on to present the ACC definition of subluxation, “A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health. A subluxation is evaluated, diagnosed, and managed through the use of chiropractic procedures based on the best available rational and empirical evidence.”

The report notes that several areas of the nervous system have some direct innervation of organs and body systems that can have an effect on infertility. These include the lower area of the mid back and the upper area of the lower back, (T11, T12, L1 & L2), as well as the top bone in the neck and the base bone of the spine known as the sacrum.

The author proposes that interference to the nervous system from subluxation will affect the “flow of energy” in the nerves that control or influence body organs or systems involved with fertility. The report reviews several previous studies documenting chiropractic care helping individuals with infertility.

In the article conclusion, the author tries to sum up the various forms of alternative care used in the care of infertility by saying, “Stressors, ranging from internal negative thought processes to external environmental factors, all play a role decreasing the delicate balance of fertility. Although a different approach is utilized in each discipline listed, all work to restore homeostasis and create a positive fertility cycle.”

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