Statistics show that fertility challenges affect 15% of the reproductive-age population. This accounts for approximately 7.5 million people or 1 out of every 6 couples. Really common, right? Due to the high prevalence of these challenges, women and men are becoming more educated about their fertility and are realizing there are more options out there besides IVF. You have probably heard of many alternative and complementary approaches that treat infertility, with the most popular being acupuncture, abdominal massage, and yoga. In our practice, we see quite a few women that are experiencing fertility challenges and one of the most common threads is stress and anxiety. Calming the nervous system and re-connecting to your body plays an important role, not only in healing but hormone balance which is essential for healthy conception.
What is Mercier Therapy
Mercier Therapy is an alternative fertility treatment that can be utilized on it's own or as a complement to any other natural fertility treatment, or assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as IVF or IUI. Combining Mercier therapy with chiropractic, acupuncture, and/or other bodywork can be so emotionally AND physically healing that we often recommend combining treatments to our patients. Mercier Therapy is a safe and gentle, soft-tissue pelvic organ visceral manipulation technique that addresses scar tissue, adhesions, malalignment and/or decreased mobility of the pelvic and reproductive structures. Mobility plays an integral role in proper blood flow and optimal function of all structures in the body. By improving the mobility of any structure in the body, whether it’s a musculoskeletal structure or a uterus, you optimize and enhance the function of that structure. Many of the women who seek our support have a history of pelvic surgery or have conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS, potentially creating adhesions or scar tissue. Restrictions can affect the function of these organs and can cause pain, lack of blood flow, hormone imbalance, just to name a few, and can lead to a further cascade of effects that can diminish fertility.
How the protocol works
The Mercier Therapy protocol consists of 6 hours of therapy that is generally broken up into one-hour weekly sessions. We do offer treatment intensives consisting of 4 days of therapy for women who are traveling to see us from out of town or for those wanting to have the therapy work done prior to their stim start. One of the great things about this protocol is that it can be used as a stand alone treatment in and of itself or can be used to prepare for a medically assisted cycle. We consider this "training and preparation" similar to what you might do prior to running a marathon because, let's be honest, working through fertility challenges can feel like a life marathon with all of the ups and downs. In order to have the best possible race, you train both physically and emotionally. Most people would not run a marathon without adequate preparation and we think that preparing the body and the mind optimizes your chance at a successful first cycle. The moment the word 'fertility' is mentioned, the stress and tension affects a woman and her partner. In our experience, we have found that it is helpful to have someone knowledgeable and in your corner, walking through the entire process with you, answering questions about diet, lab results, prognosis, etc.
If you are struggling to conceive, here are a couple of reasons you should consider whether Mercier Therapy is for you:
Mercier Therapy has an 83% stand-alone success rate supporting women to conceive and can complement other fertility treatments
Mercier Therapy is restorative and therapeutic and creates space for healing, aiming to treat the root cause of fertility challenges
Mercier Therapy is individually tailored to each woman, depending on her specific history, symptoms, and goals
Mercier Therapy is beneficial for the following:
- Amenorrhea (lack of period)
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Ovarian function
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic scarring from previous trauma or surgery ( laparoscopy, laparotomy, D&C, LEEP, abortion, cystocele or rectocele repair, cesarean section, or hysterectomy)
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Uterine Fibroids
- Follicle quality
Mercier Therapy™ completed an on-going four year medical study to show an 83% pregnancy success rate within one year of finishing the Shared Journey Fertility Program. The study concluded in September 2012 and was published in Midwifery Today, Spring 2013.
Mercier Therapy is a highly effective technique and even I am amazed at the results our patients have. One of the most common questions we receive is "Who is Mercier Therapy most beneficial for"? This is a difficult question to answer because we have seen positive results in so many of our patients. In our practice, we have treated women that:
- Have had difficulty conceiving naturally and wanted guidance and support
- Have had repeated unsuccessful IVF attempts and conceive naturally after the Mercier Therapy protocol
- Wanted to prepare the body prior to going through ART
- Decided to stop trying to conceive after multiple unsuccessful IVF attempts and wanted to heal the body only to conceive naturally after a protocol of Mercier Therapy
we are here to support you as you go through this process regardless of whether you are a patient in our office or not. please reach out if you have any questions.
Dr. Brook Merkel is a Chiropractic Physician and acupuncturist and is the founder of Nurture Women's Wellness