Fertility physiotherapy is Anne Sofie’s field of expertise. Her intention is to help and guide patients in physiotherapy regarding female mechanical infertility and explain why this might appear.

Anne Sofie Nielsen, GynOb’s physiotherapist with specialist knowledge of fertility.
Co-owner of Fertilitetsfysio  and Klinik Underværk in Aarhus, Denmark.

What is fertility physiotherapy? This question we often get asked, as there is no tradition for physiotherapists to work with reproductive health. But it makes great sense to get a specially trained physiotherapist’s assessment of your situation if you are experiencing problems getting pregnant – whether you are trying naturally or are in medical fertility treatment.

One can quite roughly divide the causes of female infertility into three main groups; hormonal, mechanical and unexplained. As physiotherapists, it is mainly the mechanical dysfunctions that we can treat.

When we talk about mechanical function in the abdomen, it is primarily about the working conditions of the reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries). A mechanical dysfunction can cause imbalance and decrease the movement and mobility of the reproductive organs or inhibit the circulation and nervous system around the organs so that they cannot function properly, and thus a pregnancy can be absent.

The treatment methods in a physiotherapeutic fertility course are focused on optimizing the conditions in the abdomen and therefore promoting the function of the reproductive organs so that your body has better conditions for achieving and completing a pregnancy. We usually use various manual techniques, exercise therapy, training guidance and laser therapy in the treatment. But no two courses of treatment are alike.

Mechanical infertility may have happened due to scar tissue in the abdomen after surgery such as a caesarean section or an appendix operation, scar tissue after an accident, or perhaps after infections such as chlamydia, abdomen inflammation or cystitis. The chronic disease endometriosis also causes mechanical problems as it forms scar tissue in the abdomen and abdominal cavity. Stress and muscle tension can also create a mechanical dysfunction, which can cause fertility problems.

To find out if the fertility problems are due to something mechanical, we listen very closely to the symptoms the patient experience and compare them with what we know from physiotherapeutic studies.

If our patient for example experience pain in the abdomen during ovulation, menstruation, sex or physical activity or have a disturbed bleeding pattern during menstruation, such as dark, lumpy bleeding or bleeding in portions. This might very well be a sign that there are not good working conditions for the uterus and the muscles of the abdomen. We also keep an eye out for symptoms from the patient’s bladder function and digestion, as both “systems” are placed directly up against the reproductive organs, and therefore we also see to function affected by this.

Of course, we do not focus solitary on the physical. We also support our patients mentally towards pregnancy, and we try to make the process as tangible and easy as possible. With our treatment and exercises, we give you great insight into your body and fertility, as well as a lot of tools for how you can become a more active part of the process leading up to a pregnancy.

We support you with conversation in managing your fertility process, help you maintain calm and control, and help you re-establish contact with your body if you have any difficulty sensing yourself.

You can read much more about the treatment on our websites. If you are curious about whether physiotherapy can help you get pregnant, you are always welcome to contact us. If you do not live in or around Aarhus, we can always refer you to our skilled colleagues elsewhere in Denmark.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! 

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