Many issues contribute to infertility. The delicate tissues, glands and organs of the female reproductive system function poorly when under constant mechanical stress and strain. However, the mechanical origin of infertility is hardly ever assessed and is poorly addressed. The proper function of the reproductive organ is dependent on free movement within and among the various organs in order for conception to occur.
Many women experiencing reduced reproductive function as well as those who have had gynaecological or abdominal operations in the past, and those who suffer from inflammation, infection, recurrent pain and discomfort often present with scar tissue, adhesion, poor blood circulation, stiff walls, lymphatic congestion, pelvic asymmetry in their abdomen and pelvic area.
The body tells the story
It also transpires that my clients’ physical or emotional traumas and painful memories from the past have been lodged in tissues and organs. Very often their stomach and pelvis are found to be rigid, frozen, knotted, triggering and guarding. Their nervous system often has to let go of a lot of stored energy or maybe even grief. Symptoms often manifested as anxiety, depression, rage and fear can begin to be released and the normal rhythmic pulse is restored.
A new life cannot root within the womb if it was competing for breathing space beside old traumas and rigid scar tissues.
Fascia – the organ of communication
Fascia is a collagen-filled connective tissue surrounding muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments and bones. When fascia becomes rigid, it starts to “pull” on underlying tissue and can contribute to pain and inflammation, a decreased range of motion, build-up of tension, etc. As fascia connects all parts of the body, tense tissue in one area can distort the whole fabric of the body. Fascia communicates with other tissues and organs via several systems, the chief of which are the nervous and endocrine (glands & hormones) systems. With mechanical stress being applied to the fascia, the nervous system can fire a constant signal that there is a problem and it can remain exhausted, tense or stale. Over time, this will wear away at energy and hormone reserves. The fatigued tissue loses proper function. When there is tense fascia in the pelvis, the reproductive organs lose blood flow and multiple inhibitions to normal function can result.
Scar tissue release
Adhesions and scar tissue can be caused by inflammatory conditions including endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, IBS, in addition to there being scar tissue from radiation therapy and past surgical procedures.
“Surgery in the lower abdomen and pelvis, including bowel and gynaecological operations, carries an even greater chance of abdominal adhesions. Abdominal adhesions can become larger and tighter as time passes, sometimes causing problems years after surgery.” www.niddk.nih.go
Many women with abdominal adhesions may have reduced chances of conception and myofascial release techniques can be successfully applied.
“Studies from the US show around 40% of all cases of female infertility are caused by hormonal disorders …. metabolic and autoimmune disorders and other medical conditions. But just as many (around 40%) have mechanical causes for their infertility; …….. scar tissue in the abdomen and uterus etc. These women often have a very good and healthy egg supply, but experience complications when trying to conceive.” (Anne Marie Jensen. Author Fertility and Physical Therapy.)
During healing from disease, injury or surgical procedures, different tissue layers adhere to one another as the body rushes to heal the injury or wound. Scar tissue release helps free up these adhesions both superficially and deep within the body facilitating the better function of tissues and organs as well as movement in the scar and surrounding tissues.
Restoring fertility with somatic release
I palpate the abdomen of my new clients and more than often I have the urgent need to relieve and erase obvious and palpable knots and triggers lodged in their tissue.
Physical treatment should be tailored to meet the individual needs of the patients and to treat specific sites of restrictions within each patient’s body. Scar tissue from invasive surgeries and endometriosis would require special attention and skill. Failed IVF trauma is real and palpable.
The technique I use is called myofascial release which is a highly individualized soft tissue mobilization technique and this is often combined with acupuncture therapy for a synergistic effect. The aim is to facilitate the normal function of tissue by releasing fascial restrictions, recovering fluid movement and tensigrity, draining congested lymphatics/ inflammatory products and promoting blood circulation. Most of all, I have to ensure free, wave-like movement of tubes.
The application of these specific manual therapy modalities is intended to activate the central nervous system by stimulating a local tissue response and thus increasing communication with higher control centres in the brain that can positively influence the activity of the ovary and uterus, as a result affecting hormone production and regulation. The abdomen finally takes a deep sigh and restores normal reproductive function and help my patients to become pain-free and to conceive.