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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Reflexology for Fertility?

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  • Written By: Dorothy Bland
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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One benefit of reflexology for fertility is the fact that the treatment is generally considered to be free from side effects. As long as the person receiving the therapy does not have any open sores or cuts on the areas of the body, the noninvasive treatment is considered safe and pain free. Other reported benefits of the therapy for those looking to get pregnant include helping to relieve stress and the treatment's supposed ability to help with some fertility issues. Conversely, however, scientific proof that reflexology works remains scant, and expertise among those who practice the therapy can be inconsistent.

A holistic therapy, reflexology refers to a massage technique where pressure points or reflexes on the feet, hands, and head are manipulated. These reflexes supposedly act as a mini map of the body, and massaging a particular area can help heal this region of the body and restore balance. Allegedly, a particular reflex in the feet can be massaged to restore balance in the reproductive system. For women, this supposedly means regulating menstrual cycles and improving conditions associated with hormonal imbalances such as endometriosis that can make getting pregnant difficult. In men, reflexology for fertility has been associated with improving low sperm production.

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For women who claim to have success with reflexology for fertility, this may be because the therapy helps aid in relaxation. Women and couples struggling with infertility are often under high levels of stress, particularly when the cause of the infertility cannot be discovered. A reflexology session, however, is a chance to unwind. Treatment is usually done in a calming environment with gentle massage techniques used to help men and women release tension and promote general well-being. Another positive of using reflexology is the fact that the treatment can be combined with other methods of overcoming infertility, such as in vitro fertilization, to improve the chances of success.

One significant downside of reflexology for fertility that should be considered is the fact that most evidence that the process works is anecdotal at best. Few scientific studies have been done that examine reflexology for infertility. The studies that have been done have yet to conclusively prove that reflexology can significantly improve ovulation or result in pregnancy.

Another concern with reflexology for fertility is the therapist doing the massage. In most areas of the world, the practice is not licensed. Additionally, in locations where certification is available, it is usually not a requirement. Instead, local laws usually determine requirements. This industry self-regulation can mean that the actual amount of knowledge and experience can differ drastically between any two individuals in the field based on the state, county, or city in which they practice.

Reflexology and other alternative treatments may have their uses, but the practice is not meant to substitute for seeing a medical professional. Even if reflexology for fertility proves to be useful, it cannot cure underlying medical conditions affecting infertility, such as sexually transmitted diseases, prostatitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Experts recommend that women and men interested in using reflexology techniques first consult with their doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of infertility.

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SarahGen
Post 3

@ysmina-- That's so true, IVF costs a ton. So I guess it wouldn't hurt to try reflexology first. I'm not going to raise my expectations too much though. Worrying will be counterproductive. I'm just going to go and enjoy getting massaged!

ysmina
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I agree with the article. It's difficult to prove that there is a link between reflexology and fertility because all of the evidence is anecdotal, mine is too. But I really think that it works. I tried many different things to get pregnant-- IVF, herbs, supplements, yoga, meditation-- everything. But I got pregnant naturally, after reflexology and I was not doing anything else at that time. So I'm convinced that reflexology made the difference for me.

Trying to conceive is actually stressful. Worrying about whether pregnancy will occur or not every single month and paying so much money for medical treatments had made me very tense. Reflexology costs so much less than IVF or other medical fertility treatments. And the best thing about it is that it reduces tension. I think that's why I got pregnant and I recommend it to other women.

ddljohn
Post 1

I've heard of acupuncture for fertility but I had not heard of reflexology for fertility before. It sounds like the effects of reflexology on fertility may be placebo effects. But I'm not saying that it will never work. I think that our mind is more powerful than we realize and belief may help improve certain bodily functions. So if someone receives reflexology therapy with the belief that it will improve chances of pregnancy, it just might.

I also don't think that there is any harm in using reflexology for fertility. The worst that will happen is that it won't result in a pregnancy but the woman or the man will go home less stressed and happier. I think that's worth it.

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