Fertility Massage

December 2, 2009

Wait, what? Is that title right? Yes it is!

A recent post from Gracie in Brooklyn about uterine massage reminded me that I never blogged about the fertility massages I used to get. Gracie’s post is the first blog I’ve ever seen talk about it. I was always surprised that no one in the entire IF blogosphere ever mentioned it.

I had no idea that fertility massage existed until I saw it offered at my acupuncture clinic. So, as a public service, I’ll tell you what I experienced, and you can decide whether to see if you can find a practitioner in your area. There aren’t many, unfortunately. I suppose that if you have a massage therapist that you already like and trust, you could ask him/her to incorporate some of the techniques.

The “fertility” part combined several massage techniques:

  • uterine massage, in which the uterus is massaged very deeply — strangely pleasant, as Gracie describes
  • femoral massage, which fans of Randine Lewis’s book The Infertility Cure may recall, in which the circulation in the femoral artery is temporarily blocked to pool the blood in the uterus
  • reflexology on points specific to the reproductive organs
  • lymphatic drainage, which I’ve never fully understood so can’t really explain to you

These techniques are primarily focused on increasing blood flow to the uterus. Some women do have fertility problems caused by restricted uterine blood flow, and for them, fertility massage would be perfect. Because my fertility problems are unexplained, it’s not clear whether increasing blood flow would do anything, and I can’t say whether fertility massage actually did anything to help me conceive. I can say that I enjoyed fertility massage even more than acupuncture, and infinitely more than anything that involved my RE.

As someone with chronic back problems, it was wonderful to be able to justify spending money on frequent massages. By my skewed logic, I rarely spend money for my own well-being, but with anything that involved TTC, I spent money hand over fist.

Postscript (mentions pregnancy and babies): I had so many fertility massages that the massage therapist and I became friends. I continued to see the same woman for prenatal massage. When I was hospitalized, she drove almost an hour to visit me in the hospital and to massage me for free. I have seen her for massage a couple of times since giving birth, and in addition to the usual, she has been massaging the site of my C-section to reduce scar tissue (which never would have occurred to me; I thought I’d just have a lumpy scar forever). We also brought Burrito and Tamale for a class she taught in infant massage.  At the class I saw a woman from my old infertility support group. Her baby is a month older than B & T, and we traded parenting tricks and massaged our babies. Full circle.

6 Responses to “Fertility Massage”

  1. gracieinbrooklyn Says:

    Thanks for posting! I also wondered why I hadn’t seen more on this in all my blog reading. It is funny how we don’t (often) question the money spent on western intervention, but hesitate when it comes to taking care of our overall well-being.

  2. Carrie Says:

    I’ve always wondered about fertility massage- thanks for the info! And I will be finding someone to break up my lumpy scar tissue ASAP!

    Love the full circle. How wonderful to find yourself on the other side with a familiar face.

  3. strongblonde Says:

    who would have ever thought it? i’m all about having an excuse for massage! i have not had one in forever…i didn’t like the idea of laying on my side for a massage. no one in my area had the table with the whole in it (you know, for the belly). my vice during infertility/pregnancy was pedicures. i’m sure that it didn’t help with anything to “improve” fertility. it DID help me keep my sanity, though!

  4. BB Says:

    Thanks for the info… pretty interesting to know the different uses of massage (including the scar tissue thingy)!

  5. Michele Says:

    I’d love to have some c-section scar massage! I think I may contact the woman who did my prenatal massages and see if she does this!

  6. Kristin Says:

    How cool. Luckily, my c-section scars have faded to almost nothing even without the massages (but I would have liked to try them).

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