The Fertility Fix: Treatment, Exercises and Lifestyle Tips to Improve Fertility

All of the steps during ovulation and fertilization need to happen correctly in order to get pregnant. Sometimes the issues that cause infertility in couples are present at birth, and sometimes they develop later in life. Infertility causes can affect one or both partners. In general in about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the male, in about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the female and in the remaining cases, there are issues with both the male and female, or no cause can be identified.


Causes of female infertility may include:

Ovulation disorders, which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which you have too much prolactin may also interfere with ovulation. Either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility. Other underlying causes may include excessive exercise, eating disorders, injury or tumors.

Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the opening of the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the shape of the uterus. Noncancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may rarely cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. More often, fibroids interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg.

Fallopian tube damage or blockage, often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.

Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.

Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause), when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and smoking. 

Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs after pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.


The information above is taken the following:


How can Osteopathy help? Osteopathic treatment can help release pelvic adhesions that may be impairing your ability to get pregnant. Myofascial release techniques are used in the pelvic area to release these adhesions and restore normal blood flow. Tailored exercises are also prescribed to complement the treatment. If you have a history of any abdominal or pelvic surgery or trauma to the area, you may benefit from osteopathy in your quest to get pregnant.


High stress has also been associated with infertility. Stress reduces the secretion of estrogen, reduces the secretion of progesterone which affects implantation and affects the surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland which is responsible for stimulating ovulation. Osteopathy and massage therapy have been shown to help reduce cortisol levels [stress hormone] and increase the levels of endorphins [feel good hormones]. High levels of cortisol have been associated with an increased rate of miscarriages and to negatively impact implantation of the egg.


Keep in mind that there are some risk factors for infertility and lifestyle changes you can make to increase your chances of getting pregnant.


Age. A woman's fertility gradually declines with age, especially in her mid-30s, and it drops rapidly after age 37. Infertility in older women may be due to the number and quality of eggs, or to health problems that affect fertility. So when possible, it is best to start trying in your late 20’s or early 30’s.

Tobacco use. Smoking tobacco or marijuana by either partner reduces the likelihood of pregnancy. Smoking also reduces the possible benefit of fertility treatment. Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke.

Alcohol use. For women, there's no safe level of alcohol use during conception or pregnancy. Avoid alcohol if you're planning to become pregnant. Alcohol use increases the risk of birth defects, and may contribute to infertility.

Being overweight. An inactive lifestyle and being overweight may increase the risk of infertility.

Being underweight. Women at risk of fertility problems include those with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, and women who follow a very low calorie or restrictive diet.

Exercise issues. Insufficient exercise contributes to obesity, which increases the risk of infertility. Less often, ovulation problems may be associated with frequent strenuous, intense exercise in women who are not overweight.


Try these 3 exercises to help with fertility!

Pelvic tilt: Lie down with your back on the floor, knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Put one hand behind the small of your back. Tilt your pelvis so that you squish your hand into the floor. Hold this for five seconds to complete a pelvic tilt. This move helps to encourage proper motion in your pelvis and brings blood flow to the pelvic area.

Dancer’s pose: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend one knee and reach for your ankle behind you. Your fingers should be on the outside of your ankle while your thumb wraps around the inner part. Raise your other arm towards the ceiling. Keeping your knees facing forward, gently kick your leg back into your hand. Let the weight of your foot in your hand tilt your hip forward as your leg extends behind you - until you feel a stretch across your chest and hip. You should be looking directly in front of you with your raised arm parallel to the ground. Try to hold this pose for one minute and repeat it twice on each side.  This move helps to break up adhesions in your pelvis that can be impairing blood flow and affecting your fertility.

 Forward bend: Begin standing with your hands on your hips. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips. Bend your elbows and hold on to each elbow with the opposite hand. Let the crown of your head hang down. Press your heels into the floor as you lift your sit bones toward the ceiling. Bring your fingertips in line with your toes and press your palms on the floor. Bring your weight to the balls of your feet, keeping your hips aligned over your ankles. Slightly lift and lengthen your torso with each inhalation. Release deeper into the pose with each exhalation. Let your head hang. Hold the pose for up to one minute. To release, place your hands on your hips. Draw down through your tailbone and keep your back flat as you inhale and return to standing. Repeat several times each day. This exercise is great for relieving stress and the resultant cortisol levels.


Dr. Liza Egbogah BSc, DC, DOMP is a manual osteopath and one of North America's leading body and posture experts, who consults with senior executives, celebrities, professional athletes and political leaders on health matters, injury preventon and treatment, and stress reduction strategies. Based in Toronto, she is a high-profile speaker who is regularly interviewed by the media. Dr. Liza has been a key member of the basketball medical team at the PanAm Games, and she has provided treatment for some of the worlds greatest athletes from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Olympians as well as some of music’s biggest stars and award-winning actors. She is also the “unofficial celebrity fixer” of the Toronto International Film Festival, the Oscars and the ESPYs, and she has started her own revolutionary designer high heel line designed for true all day comfortable wear.


Osteopathy was founded upon the principles of manual manipulation and rooted in a philosophy that the body should be brought back to health using the least invasive measures first. Osteopathic manual manipulation was designed to improve the flow of air and blood, lymphatic, and other fluids in the body to improve the function of our joints, organs and bran and to maximize self-healing mechanisms.

Osteopathy is a touch-centered treatment that looks at the patient as a whole and aims to determine why the problem is there and treat the conditions that created the problem. Tissues are manipulated in order to help the body return to health.

Osteopathic manipulation is most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal conditions like neck, back, knee and foot pains but can also help with stress, digestive issues and migraines. For example, research has shown that using manipulation to treat elderly patients with pneumonia results in shorter hospital stays and less use of medication. Other studies have suggested a link between manipulation and activity in the endocannabinoid system, the same system affected by the pain-relieving cannabis in marijuana.


The main reason I chose to pursue osteopathy instead of chiropractic is that while chiropractic focuses primarily on spinal manipulation, osteopathy involves head to toe treatment to help the body work more efficiently. Whether someone has a wrist fracture, back pain or a knee injury, osteopaths will treat the entire body to optimize functioning. I have always felt that with the multitude of interconnections in the body, addressing the entire system is the only way to effectively treat.

Osteopathic treatments are conventionally classified into soft tissue techniques, articulation, and mobilization. Soft tissue techniques mechanically stretch the skin, fascia, and muscle tissues to enhance their motion and pliability, either as a specific therapeutic goal or in preparation for other procedures. Articulation consists of repetitive, oscillatory movements engaging a restrictive barrier up to it send point before backing away. Its purpose is to surround inga restricted articulation. Mobilization involves engaging the restrictive barrier of the joint needing treatment, followed by a high velocity and low amplitude thrust through the barrier, which briefly separates the joint surfaces and commonly produces a cavitation sound.

Successful treatment will restore the range of movement, improve symmetry, reduce muscle hypertonicity, and possibly restore normal joint receptor activity. This might improve somatic neural input to the spinal cord and allow reflex activity in facilitated spinal segments to return towards normal.


I have always had a particular fascination for fascia. In over 10 years of practice I have had the most success treating difficult conditions by addressing the fascia.

Myofascial release is one aspect of Osteopathy and the purpose of these therapies and treatments is to alter the mechanical properties of fascia, such as density, stiffness, and viscosity, so that the fascia can more readily adapt to physical stresses. In fact, some osteopathic physicians and manual therapists report local tissue release after the application of a slow manual force to tight fascial areas; these reports have been explained as a breaking of fascial cross-links, a transition from gel to sol state in the extracellular matrix, and other passive viscoelastic changes of fasciae. The fascial osteopathic technique is the application of a low-load, long-duration stretch into the myofascial complex that is intended to restore the optimal length of this complex. The operator places his or her hand on the fascial restriction identified previously by palpation, using different approaches, until the perceived resistance disappears or greatly decreases, inducing or stopping the preferential direction of the tissue. The time required for the technique varies according to the response of the patient. There are reports in the literature that improvement in the sliding of the different fascia layers, via manual manipulation, may decrease pain symptoms and reduce inflammation at the local level.


There are five models that make up osteopathy. The biomechanical model addresses muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones and can improve posture, mobility and function. The circulatory/respiratory model focuses on the thoracic inlet and outlet, the diaphragm and the rib cage and can affect respiration, circulation and lymphatic drainage. The neurological model centers around the brain, spine, autonomic and peripheral nerves to improve control, coordination and integration of the body’s functions and sensation. The behavioral model aims to affect the brain to address issues relation to anxiety, depression, stress, sleep and sexual activity. The last model is the metabolic energy model. The focus with this model is on internal organs, the endocrine system and how the body functions at a cellular level. The can affect the amount of inflammation you have in your body, immunity, reproductive function and digestion. By addressing all 5 models with osteopathic treatment you can effectively restore the body’s natural healing process and treat a wide range of conditions.