Okay, so you think you have tried everything under the sun to put a bun in the oven, but have you ever considered physical therapy? Well, if a new study published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, is to be believed, physical therapy may be the new hope for couples suffering from a variety of sexual woes including painful sex and infertility.
The impact infertility can have on your self-esteem and your relationship with your partner can be devastating. According to the National Survey of Family Growth (2006-2010) carried out by the CDC, 11. 9 percent women struggle with fertility issues, out of which 7.4 million women try crazy invasive fertilization treatments every year.
Painful Sex & Physical Therapy
Dr Nicole Williams, gynecologic surgeon and founder of The Gynecology Institute of Chicago, says, “Approximately one third of women will suffer from dyspareunia (pain with sex) during their lifetime, and unfortunately many OB/GYN’s are at a complete loss to decrease their patient’s suffering.”
This pain can be due to an injury, infection, trauma, inflammation, uterine fibroids, endometriosis and even everyday lower back pain. Kosta Kokolis, a licensed physical therapist, and fitness expert from New York says, “Besides the undesirable pain, these problems can also cause infertility by blocking normal movement of sperm and egg in the fallopian tubes. Conditions such as adhesions (scar tissue), compression of the tube by neighboring tissue, muscle tightness and misalignment are all very real threats that can be associated with intercourse pain and cause infertility.”
On asked about explaining how physical therapy can help treat this problem Kokolis adds, “Manual therapy techniques in physical therapy help ease the pain by breaking up scar tissue, relaxing muscles, and restoring symmetry. Likewise osteopathic techniques and myofascial release, along with specific therapeutic exercises, have been shown to decrease pain, and increase overall mobility and function in the pelvic area. From a psychological perspective, the alleviating of pain lessens the psychological burden associated with intercourse, and in turn promotes the willingness to have, and find pleasure in, sex.”
Infertility & Physical Therapy
Dr Williams adds that by relieving the pain associated with sex, physical therapy can improve sexual gratification, which may increase the chances of pregnancy. Kokolis has a more science-backed explanation to the same.
“Physical therapy can clear up the blockages in the fallopian tubes and increase the chances of implantation on the uterine walls. The theory is that if you can improve movement restrictions, you can improve the overall functioning of the internal organs, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus,” he says.
Physical therapy can actually work hand-in-hand with other types of fertility treatments and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
To conclude, we would like to say that, if you’ve tried everything and yet are struggling to get pregnant then physical therapy may be worth giving a shot. Talk to your OB/GYN about it on your next visit.
1. Rice AD, Patterson K, Wakefield LB, Reed ED, Breder KP, Wurn BF, King Iii R, Wurn LJ. Ten-year Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of a Manual Physical Therapy to Treat Female Infertility. Altern Ther Health Med. 2015 Feb 17. pii:at5233. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25691329.