About the Study

This infertility research study is comparing two different types of hands-on treatments for improving fertility rates in women who have not been able to conceive after at least one year of trying.  This study is being done by physical therapists in several sites across the U.S. to determine if hands on treatments are effective in improving fertility.  The theory is that tight connective tissue which surrounds and supports the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries can be a cause of infertility in some women.  These issues can occur because of previous infections, trauma, surgery, or endometriosis.  Congested lymph nodes can also contribute to the problem by not allowing waste products to be removed from the tissues.  Physical therapy treats all of these issues regularly in other parts of the body.  In cases which scar tissue or congested lymph nodes could be contributing to the inability to conceive, a hands-on approach to treatment may help.

Who Can Participate?


  • Women ages 18-42
  • Unable to conceive for one year or more
  • Male partner has been found to have normal sperm count and motility
  • Not currently undergoing any infertility treatments

There is no cost to participants.
Treatments will be covered by insurance when applicable and grant money in cases where insurance cannot be used.

Treatments are six, one hour gentle, hands-on techniques once a week for 4 weeks, then once a month for 2 months.

Previous Research

Infertility Case Series Report

Current treatment options for infertility, including hormone therapy, intrauterine insemination, and in vitro fertilization, tend to be expensive, are not necessarily covered by insurance, and carry different levels of short-term and long-term health risks. 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.
Kramp ME. Combined manual therapy techniques for the treatment of women with infertility: a case series. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(10):680-685

Abdominal Edema Case Report

This is a case study about a woman who had developed a very swollen abdomen after surgery for kidney cancer.  After 6 months of failed medical treatments, she wanted to try physical therapy for lymphedema.  After just 3 treatments, her swelling resolved.  
Kramp ME.  Manual Lymph Drainage and Fascial Release for the Treatment of Chylous Ascites Following Radical Nephrectomy: A Case Report.  Rehab Onc . 2016; 34(3):111-114.