Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized form of massage that primarily focuses on stimulating the lymphatic system to remove excess fluid and toxins from the body. To learn more about it’s importance to the body overall, have a read over here.
While there is limited scientific evidence directly linking lymphatic drainage massage to infertility treatment when also combined with deep relaxation techniques, it may offer some potential benefits:
1. Stress Reduction: High stress levels can negatively impact fertility by disrupting hormonal balance. Massage can promote relaxation and reduce stress, which may indirectly improve fertility by allowing the body to function more optimally. 1
2. Improved Blood Circulation: Massaging regularly can enhance blood circulation, which may benefit reproductive health by ensuring that the reproductive organs receive an adequate blood supply to heal as well as remove waste products.
Fallopian tube occlusion has been identified as a common cause of fertility problems and often these women are told surgery or IVF is necessary to increase their chances of conceiving. A small study reveals manual pelvic physical therapy (defined as lymphatic drainage, pelvic floor physio and visceral manipulation with osteopathic techniques), using techniques designed to address pain and restricted soft tissue mobility due to adhesions and micro-adhesions. The therapists accessed some of the deeper structures (such as the fallopian tubes) indirectly by manipulating the peritoneum, uterine and ovarian ligaments, and neighboring structures.
Of the 28 patients included in this study, 17 demonstrated post-treatment unilateral or bilateral patency, as measured by hysterosalpingography or natural intrauterine pregnancy. Since truly occluded tubes are not known to reopen spontaneously, the results suggest this non-invasive therapy might be considered as an adjuvant to standard gynecological procedures in treating tubal occlusion. 2
3. Hormonal Balance: This massage may contribute to the reduction of the glucose and insulin levels in women’s blood, thus favoring the female hormone balance which benefits ovulation. It also helps balance hormones by reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing serotonin (a mood-regulating hormone). 3 4 5
4. Detoxification: The lymphatic system plays a role in detoxifying the body by removing waste and toxins. Enhancing lymphatic drainage may aid in the elimination of harmful substances from the body, which could be beneficial for fertility. 6 7
5. Reducing Inflammation: Lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce localized inflammation and swelling. In cases where infertility is associated with inflammation in the reproductive organs or pelvic area, this reduction in inflammation may provide a more favorable environment for conception. This area of evidence continues to emerge, in the meantime, may we highlight a case series to prove this type of support should be considered when trying to optimize fertility.
“Combined manual therapy techniques for the treatment of women with infertility: a case series
Many of the issues that contribute to infertility can be traced to scar tissue, fascial restriction, and lymphatic congestion in the pelvic region. Manual therapy techniques exist to release fascial restrictions, to mobilize tight ligaments, and to drain congested lymphatics, all of which can be applied to the reproductive system. In this case series, 10 infertile women were treated with 1 to 6 sessions of manual therapy applied to the pelvic region. Techniques included muscle energy, lymphatic drainage, and visceral manipulation. Six of the 10 women conceived within 3 months of the last treatment session, and all 6 of those women delivered at full term.” 8
6. Enhanced Emotional Well-being: Coping with infertility can be emotionally challenging. Regular massage can provide emotional support, reduce anxiety, and improve mood, which can positively affect the overall well-being of individuals trying to conceive. Study has shown massage to improve IVF outcomes. 9
It’s important to note that while massage can offer potential benefits, it should not be considered a standalone treatment for infertility. Anyone experiencing fertility issues should consult with a healthcare provider or fertility specialist to explore appropriate medical interventions and lifestyle changes. Massage therapy can be complementary to these treatments but should not replace them.
If you are interested in accessing lymphatic drainage therapy, you can find out more about the importance of timing of the massages as well as the most common questions and answers – here