The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case series on October 9, 2017, reporting on two successful cases of in vitro fertilization following chiropractic care to reduce vertebral subluxations. The American Pregnancy Association defines IVF on their website as, “In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.”
The study report begins by noting that infertility affects between 10-20% of couples. According to the CDC, in the year 2000, approximately 7.3 million woman had problems conceiving. Infertility affects 11% of women between the ages of 15 to 29 and 23% of women ages 35-39. In a healthy couple trying to conceive, the success rate is normally between 20 and 25% per a woman’s reproductive cycle, with a 90% chance of success per year.
For IVF, the success rate for each cycle of in vitro fertilization for a woman using her own eggs depends upon the woman’s age. A woman’s chances of having a live birth decline from a high of over 40% for a woman in her late 20s, to 30% by about age 38, and to 10% by age 43.
The first case in this series involved a 34-year-old woman who went to the chiropractor for consultation and possible care for neck stiffness and discomfort, and infertility. Her history revealed that she experienced two miscarriages and the loss of one fallopian tube due to ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the woman’s uterus. The woman was overweight and also had high blood pressure. Additionally, she reported that she suffered from mental and emotional stress due to her infertility issue.
A chiropractic examination was performed and care was initiated for the correction of subluxations. After care had begun, the woman reported that, “Chiropractic has helped me deal with my stress in a positive way.” Each successive re-examination showed improvement in her overall health. After a year of chiropractic care, the woman had her 1st in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure that resulted in a successful full term pregnancy.
In the second case, a 28-year-old woman sought chiropractic care for a sore left big toe that began two weeks prior. She also described a sore right elbow/hand/wrist that began three months earlier. She had two children but was having trouble trying to get pregnant for a third time. She had tried several infertility procedures that were not successful.
After a chiropractic examination and the start of chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations, the woman tried an IVF procedure but was unsuccessful on the first attempt. However, after 7.5 months of chiropractic care, she underwent another IVF procedure which resulted in a successful conception. The woman went on to have a successful delivery of twins.
In the discussion portion of the report, the authors note, “Infertility is a common issue for patients presenting to chiropractic offices. Although, the primary goal of chiropractic is not to treat symptoms and disease, many cases show success in conception of previously infertile women with chiropractic care.” They continue their explanation by describing how the chiropractic approach to infertility is unique. “Unlike the medical model that views the female reproductive system as a unit to hormonally alter, chiropractors aim to restore proper functioning of the nervous system that will restore balance and allostasis within the body.”