On March 12, 2018, a case study was published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health reporting on a woman who was unable to conceive for years becoming pregnant due to receiving chiropractic care. The study defines infertility as the failure to achieve a pregnancy within one year of regular unprotected intercourse.
The study begins by reporting that in the United States between 10-15% of couples have difficulty becoming pregnant or carrying the baby to normal term. Becoming pregnant gets progressively more difficult as a woman gets older. Between the ages of ages of 15-29 about 11% of women have difficulty conceiving. The difficulty in becoming pregnant increases in women between the ages of 35 and 39 to where 23% have difficulty becoming pregnant.
In 2002, a study of 700 couples was conducted ranging in age from 19 to 39. That study found that after the age of 27, fertility starts to decline and drops at a higher rate after the age of 35. It is estimated that 9.3 million women have sought fertility treatment with most seeking conventional medical care. The cost of conventional infertility treatments can be quite expensive, especially in the U.S. which is the highest in the world. A successful birth achieved by infertility treatments can cost upward of $50,000.
In this case, a 29-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care in the hopes of helping her with her infertility. She had never had chiropractic prior to this initial visit. For the past three years, she had been unsuccessfully attempting to get pregnant. She had previously been taking estrogen modulator, clomiphene citrate (Clomid) for five-months with no result. Additionally, the woman had attempted in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination, all with no success.
The only other relevant health history noted is that the woman had been in a major car accident five years earlier. Since that time, she was suffering with 3-5 headaches per week.
A chiropractic examination, thermography and spinal x-rays were performed. The x-rays did not show any pathology, fracture, or infection. It was noted that the woman’s neck curve was reduced from normal when viewed on a lateral cervical x-ray. Functional leg length tests did show an imbalance.
Based on the results of the examination procedures, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given where indicated.
Within two months of starting chiropractic care. the woman reported that her headaches had stopped. She continued to receive the recommended course of chiropractic care for another two months. At that point, she had a visit with her obstetrician where an ultrasound was performed confirming that she was indeed pregnant. The obstetrician was able to back-date the onset of the pregnancy to about two months after she had started chiropractic care. The woman continued to receive chiropractic care for correction of subluxations throughout her pregnancy and was able to deliver a healthy baby vaginally.
In their conclusion, the authors of this study summed up how chiropractic was able to have a positive effect in this case. “This study helps show the clinical application of chiropractic care and infertility. While chiropractic does not treat infertility, studies have shown the vertebral subluxation and their effect on the autonomic nervous system. The ability of the nervous system to work more efficiently can lead to many desired benefits. The evidence of this case being that after multiple failed conventional medical treatments.”