Fertility massage is a method couples are increasingly turning to when it is taking longer than they had initially planned for to get pregnant. It’s an emotional and stressful time when you are trying for a baby and nothing seems to work. Seeing that negative sign on the pregnancy test every month can take a toll not just emotionally, but physically as well. This added stress does nothing to increase your chances of conceiving.
On top of that, you’ve probably got people around you telling you to relax (as if that helps), and they’ll regale you with stories about couples who had tried to conceive for years without success, and when they finally gave up and the “pressure” to conceive was off, they conceived naturally.
So how does stress impact the reproductive process?
According to a study from Oxford University in 2010, stress inhibits the body’s primary sex hormone, gonadotropin, and the study found that women with the highest levels of alpha-amylase, which indicates a person’s adrenaline or stress levels, had significantly lower chances of becoming pregnant.
While relaxing is easier said than done, fertility massage is one way to lower your stress levels and potentially increase your chances of conceiving.
What is a fertility massage?
A fertility massage is designed to increase blood circulation and help stimulate blood flow to the reproductive organs. Different practitioners use different techniques but the massage typically includes a combination of deep tissue massage of the abdomen, use of reflexology to work on the acupressure points around the inner and outer ankles that correspond to your reproductive organs, and even shoulder and neck rubs for deep relaxation.
It is a method for men and women who are looking to increase their fertility naturally.
Does fertility massage really work?
While research doesn’t link fertility massage, or any massage for that matter, directly with success in getting pregnant, studies have found that deep massage does reduce stress by decreasing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Fertility massage also helps to increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which enhance your feeling of well-being and lift your mood. Some research has suggested that women who are more stressed during ovulation may be less likely to conceive than women who are more relaxed during this time.
So doing what you can to stay relaxed can only be a good thing for both partners.
How does it work?
Fertility massage works by relieving congestion and circulation blockages in the soft tissues that support the womb, the abdomen and the sacrum. It improves the flow of blood to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes as well as lymph and nerve impulses to the organs; aligns the position of your uterus; and increases circulation to the entire reproductive system, which may improve the uterine lining and egg quality and balance hormones. It may also release emotional and energetic congestion from the abdomen. Fertility massage can also be used to support IUI and IVF treatment and help increase your chances of conceiving a baby.
Infertility massage using the principles of foot reflexology can directly affect the balance of hormones, which will improve the function of the reproductive system and remove toxins from the body. The balance of hormones can be controlled through pressure on the pituitary gland, which controls the secretion of nearly every hormone in the body.
What are the benefits of fertility massage?
As your body responds to fertility massage, you may find that it:
- Helps regulate the menstrual cycle
- Results in less pain
- Achieves a better flow with less clotting
- Improves the digestion system to help detoxify the body
- Increases liver function to help clear out excess estrogen
- Supports a stronger immune system
- Reduces stress
- Increases the quantity and quality of cervical mucus
- Helps endometriosis
- Resolves blocked Fallopian tubes
- Helps re-position a tilted uterus
- Assists women with unexplained infertility
- Strengthens the internal reproductive organs
- Helps to heal past sexual trauma
- Helps to release held in emotions, grief and trauma
- Addresses maternal problems
- Eases constipation and settles diarrhea
Can I give myself a fertility massage?
There is no evidence that giving yourself a fertility massage works to increase fertility, but as it is free and can make you feel better, it is worth trying. It involves making deep circular strokes around your abdomen between the rib cage and the hip bones. Apply pressure without going in too deeply, especially in areas where you feel tender. Ask your licensed massage therapist to show you how.
Is there any risk in having a fertility massage?
A fertility massage is perfectly safe if you are trying to conceive. However, once you are pregnant, any type of massage is not advised in your first trimester, and thereafter it should be performed only by a trained, licensed massage therapist experienced in prenatal massage.
One thing is certain, getting a fertility massage may reduce some of the stress and anxiety you might be experiencing as you are trying to get pregnant. And in addition, it feels great, so why not pamper yourself!