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Pelvic Floor Therapy: The Missing Piece in Your Fertility Puzzle

Infertility can be a sensitive subject for many couples trying to conceive. Common treatments such as InVitro Fertilization (IVF) are expensive, only about 50% effective, and can cause devastating side effects. Did you know that there is another more conservative treatment that you might not have considered or even heard about?


This treatment is called pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) and has been shown to be effective for many patients struggling with infertility.


In a study done by Herman & Wallace in 2022-2011, 1,000 patients struggling with infertility participated in pelvic floor physical therapy. Those with fallopian tube irregularities had a 57% success rate of pregnancy following PFPT and those suffering from PCOS had a 54% success rate of pregnancy following PFPT. This treatment is much less invasive, less expensive and comes with less risk and potential side effects.



As we know, fertility can be affected by so many factors such as ovulation issues, hormonal imbalances or a diagnosis such as endometriosis or PCOS. Yet often the musculoskeletal system and mechanical aspect of the pelvis and reproductive system is not considered when it comes to fertility. This might include things like fallopian tube blockage, ovarian cysts, cervical alignment, internal scars and adhesions, poor blood flow, lymphatic blockage in the pelvis and also includes severe pain with intercourse. ‍‍


This is where PFPT comes in and can play a huge role in addressing some of the issues above. It can assist in the decrease of pain, managing symptoms commonly associated with PCOS and other diagnoses, and can support you by treating the side-effects that are often associated with infertility medications and other therapies.



How can pelvic physical therapy support infertility?

  • Increase blood flow to the pelvic floor, uterus and ovaries.

  • Release tension and adhesions that are connected to the reproductive organs. This is the same connective tissue that surrounds your uterus, ovaries and connective tissue in the pelvic floor.

  • Increase lymphatic movement in the pelvis to decrease swelling.

  • Assist with decreasing pain due to intercourse

  • Scar tissue mobility.


How can pelvic physical therapy support a physiological diagnosis associated with infertility?

  • Pelvic physical therapy can support symptoms of Endometriosis and PCOS by reducing pain and other symptoms which can contribute to infertility.

  • Can address irregular menstrual cycles

  • Decrease painful periods and pain during ovulation


How can pelvic physical therapy support hormonal therapy treatments such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or InVitro Fertilization (IVF)?

  • decreasing side effects from hormonal medications

  • decrease side effects and pain after infertility surgical treatments.

What might a pelvic floor physical therapy appointment look like?

The physical therapist will take a thorough history of what your symptoms and concerns are. Depending on your own personal situation, comfort level and history, an internal pelvic examination might occur and a treatment plan will be put into place. Ongoing treatment might include the following:

  • Manual therapy

  • Scar mobilization

  • Soft tissue massage

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

  • Pelvic floor lengthening and relaxation

  • Self management strategies

  • Therapeutic exercises


Overall, specialists in the pelvic health field have helped change the lives of women who are struggling with infertility. It is important to know that there are options outside of IVF and IUI, and we would encourage you to reach out to a pelvic floor physical therapy specialist to see if this might be a beneficial treatment for you.


For additional information on pelvic floor physical therapy, we have invited a pelvic floor physical therapist to speak at our May “Ask Me Anything” live Q&A session. We encourage you to join us & ask any questions you might have about this treatment option.

For more information about our “Ask Me Anything” Series, please visit our website at www.utahinfertilityresourcecenter.org/ask-me-anything



(Information for this article was gathered from mojoph.com)


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