Research News Staff
Previously Infertile Woman Conceives

New Research Shows Chiropractic May Play Important Role

Recent research reporting on a women who was previously diagnosed as infertile but conceived following the introduction of chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for families with infertility challenges. The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic, includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in women experiencing infertility.

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“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the reproductive system” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “There are now at least two dozen research studies previously published that show successful conceptions and the delivery of healthy children following the introduction of chiropractic care and the addition of this one adds further weight to the evidence.” 

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “As chiropractors we know that obstruction of spinal nerves lead to all sorts of dysfunction and this is certainly true with reproductive function. Of all the various non-musculoskeletal conditions amenable to chiropractic, anecdotes and testimonials abound on the positive effects of chiropractic care in patients with infertility.” 

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after at least one year of unprotected intercourse and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that there were 7.3 million infertile women in the U.S. in 2002 with 1.2 million women having had an infertility-related medical appointment. These data also indicate that from 30 years of age and on, rates of infertility increase. There are many reasons for both male and female infertility, including problems with egg production, anatomic, immune and hormonal factors for the female and sperm count for the male. 

“Considering the fact that every single function of the body is controlled by the nervous system it should not surprise anyone that removing obstructions to the neurology that controls reproductive function would lead to alleviation of some of the problems related to infertility” remarked Dr. McCoy. “What is surprising is that more research funding has not been provided to study these effects in larger populations of women.” 

In this study a 29-year-old female presented with a three-year history of infertility. She had previously been taking the estrogen modulator, clomiphene citrate (Clomid) for a five-month period. She had also attempted in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination all with no success of conception. She had been in a major car accident five years previous and reported experiencing 3-4 headaches per week. 

The examination and x-rays revealed that she had postural distortions and decreased range of motion along with structural shifts in her spine that were obstructing her nervous system. Structural shifts in the spine can develop and this can lead to obstruction of the nerves. It is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following just four months of chiropractic care her headaches resolved and she became pregnant. Vertebral subluxations were adjusted throughout the remainder of her pregnancy and she was able to have a successful vaginal birth. These results suggest a possible link between reproductive challenges and spinal subluxations.  Correcting the subluxations through the use of specific chiropractic adjustments appears to have assisted this woman in conceiving. 

The authors called for further research to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and cost related to chiropractic care and infertility. 

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic McCoy Press