Mercier Therapy for Fertility
Mercier Therapy offers hope for a non-invasive, natural means of conception that has been shown to have a very high pregnancy success rate compared to more invasive, medically risky, and financially costly procedures.
This is your About page. This space is a great opportunity to give a full background on who you are, what you do and what your site has to offer. Your users are genuinely interested in learning more about you, so don’t be afraid to share personal anecdotes to create a more friendly quality.
Every website has a story, and your visitors want to hear yours. This space is a great opportunity to provide any personal details you want to share with your followers. Include interesting anecdotes and facts to keep readers engaged.
Double click on the text box to start editing your content and make sure to add all the relevant details you want site visitors to know. If you’re a business, talk about how you started and share your professional journey. Explain your core values, your commitment to customers and how you stand out from the crowd. Add a photo, gallery or video for even more engagement.
What is Mercier Therapy?
Mercier Therapy is a deep external pelvic organ visceral manipulation technique that addresses scar tissue, adhesions, malalignment, and decreased mobility of the pelvic organs and surrounding soft tissues in order to improve their blood flow and function.
Blood is the lifeline that ensures every organ, muscle, nerve, and tissue in your body receives oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and efficiently disposes of waste. When blood flow to your pelvic organs is obstructed due to malposition or scar tissue/adhesions from congenital anomalies, genetics, surgical procedures, endometriosis, musculoskeletal dysfunctions, or pregnancy/childbirth, it can lead to a spectrum of symptoms including pelvic pain, hormonal imbalances, pain during ovulation and menstruation, disruptions in bladder or bowel function, and… infertility.
How? The position and mobility of an organ can directly affect how it functions both mechanically and chemically.
For conception to occur, sperm must travel from the vagina into the cervix, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. Malalignment or restrictions in the pelvic organs can impede this journey. If the uterus is not in its optimal position, it can cause mechanical issues, such as kinking of the fallopian tubes or obstruction of the cervix, which can hinder sperm migration and embryo implantation. Furthermore, malalignment or limited mobility of the ovaries and fallopian tubes can affect their ability to release and capture eggs, respectively.
Malposition and impaired blood flow within the reproductive organs can not only lead to mechanical problems, but also contribute to chemical imbalances that make conception difficult. Estrogen and progesterone, primarily produced in the ovaries, are essential for facilitating ovulation, conception, and a healthy pregnancy. Limited mobility or adhesions in/around the ovaries may impede the blood supply to ovarian tissue, affecting this delicate hormonal dance. Furthermore, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are pituitary hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and ovarian function. Scar tissue or limited mobility in the reproductive organs can disrupt the normal feedback mechanisms between the ovaries and the pituitary gland. For example, if the ovaries are less responsive due to adhesions or cysts, the pituitary gland may produce more FSH and LH in an attempt to stimulate ovarian follicles. These hormone imbalances can result in irregular or painful menstrual cycles, anovulation (lack of ovulation), and infertility.
By improving blood flow and function in the pelvic organs through gyno-visceral manipulation, Mercier Therapy helps create an environment conducive to conception. This specialized manual technique, coupled with guided in-depth cycle monitoring and natural hormone balancing, helps put the whole body in an optimal state to support a healthy pregnancy.
While in all medical practices we encourage trialing conservative low-risk treatments before opting for invasive high-risk options that have potential negative side-effects, we recognize that in some cases assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures may be indicated. However, just as you wouldn’t run a marathon without properly training and preparing your body, you should not go into medically-assisted cycles without preparation to optimize the very first cycle. We are here to support you throughout your fertility journey and highly recommend Mercier Therapy as both a standalone treatment and as a compliment to ART in order to give you the best opportunity to experience a healthy conception and pregnancy. Mercier Therapy has an overall success rate of 83%. When done in conjunction with IVF, the success rate is 87% as compared to an average standalone IVF success rate of ~30%.
The Mercier Therapy program begins with a 1-hour initial consultation for Dr. Brussee to get to know you, delve into your medical history, and determine if this approach is appropriate for you and your goals. Please bring any past medical records and recent labs that may be helpful when discussing your history. A pelvic organ mobility exam will be completed during this session.
After the initial consultation, the Mercier Therapy protocol consists of a 6 week program of weekly 1-hour gyno-visceral manipulation sessions.
Dr. Brussee is the only pelvic health specialist in North Carolina who is a Certified Mercier Therapist and Certified Mercier Fertility Specialist, and we recognize some of you may be traveling a distance to be seen. We highly recommend weekly visits for the 6 gyno-visceral manipulation treatments, but if that is not an option we will discuss other options on a case-by-case basis for treatment intensives completed over a condensed amount of time in order to meet your scheduling needs.
Is Mercier Therapy Right for Me?
Mercier Therapy is beneficial for the following:
Infertility & secondary infertility
Improving your chances of successful IVF or IUI
Diminished ovarian reserve
Blocked fallopian tubes
Regulation of menstrual cycles and ovulation
Restoring normal hormone balance
Improving ovarian function for better quality follicles/eggs
Increasing uterine blood flow and lining necessary for implantation
Improving reproductive organ positioning necessary for conception/pregnancy
Pelvic/abdominal surgery recovery (c-section, laparoscopy, laparotomy, D&C, LEEP, prolapse repair)
Chronic GI issues
Pelvic organ prolapse
Mercier Therapy Compared to IVF
Mercier Therapy is non-invasive, has no long-term health consequences, promotes optimal health and hormone balance to support a healthy pregnancy, and is often more emotionally supportive of the woman and her partner than other fertility treatments.
Many insurance plans do not cover infertility treatment. The exact total of a single IVF cycle varies, but usually costs between $12,000 and $17,000. The investment in Mercier Therapy is less than 1/4 the cost of IVF.
Mercier Therapy’s research study over a 4-year period has proven to have an overall success rate of 83% of conception within one year.
According to the U.S. Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) 2021 Preliminary National Summary Report, the rate of live births after one embryo transfer using IVF as a standalone treatment is as follows:
36.9% for women under age 35
27.6% for women ages 35 to 37
18.0% for women ages 38 to 40
9.0% for women ages 41-42
2.8% for women over age 42
The average cumulative live birth rate after all embryo transfers using IVF as a standalone treatment is as follows:
44.5% for women under age 35
32.4% for women ages 35 to 37
20.2% for women ages 38 to 40
9.6% for women ages 41-42
2.9% for women over age 42
Comparatively, when Mercier Therapy is used alongside a medically assisted cycle, the success rate is 87%.
Femwell's Fertility Programs
We currently offer 3 different fertility programs to walk alongside you in your pregnancy journey:
The Shared Journey Fertility Program
This is our standard fertility program in which you will receive personalized support to help you on your journey to conception. It includes the following:
6 1-hour Mercier Therapy treatments, completed weekly over 6 consecutive weeks
Customized evidence-based fertility supplement protocol
Hormonal health coaching resources for fertility
In-depth cycle monitoring support for up to 1 year
Email support for up to 1 year
Optional monthly office or telehealth visits to review cycle charting and answer any questions
The Shared Journey Fertility Program + Pelvic Floor Preparation
This package includes the entire Shared Journey Fertility Program with the addition of 3 sessions with Dr. Brussee to prepare your pelvic floor and core before beginning the gyno-visceral work. The pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles and connective tissues that form a hammock at the base of your pelvis and structurally lay the foundation of your core, supporting each of your pelvic organs. The alignment, strength, mobility, and coordination of your pelvic floor greatly affects the function of your reproductive organs. Prior to beginning the 6 gyno-visceral manipulation treatments, this program involves 3 sessions dedicated to external and internal pelvic girdle/pelvic floor release work, and customized functional exercises and strategies to improve your pelvic floor health in order to optimize the 6 gyno-visceral manipulation sessions as much as possible.
The Shared Journey Fertility Program + Nutritional Support
This package includes the Shared Fertility Protocol with the addition of customized nutritional support through 3 video telehealth sessions with our registered dietician, Lisa Mejia. The first session is a 60-90 minute initial evaluation in which Lisa will review your medical history, lifestyle, current nutritional habits, supplements, medications, and any labs you have available. Following the initial evaluation, you will receive a detailed nutrition plan that is customized to your specific needs. This package includes two additional 60 minute follow-up sessions to check in on your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your nutrition plan.
Fueling your body with the nutrition it needs helps optimize your reproductive health, therefore this package is beneficial for any woman trying to conceive. However, we especially recommend it for women who have any of the following conditions:
Disordered eating behaviors
The Shared Journey Fertility Program + Pelvic Floor Preparation & Nutritional Support
The most comprehensive package of all, this package includes all the components of the Shared Journey Fertility Program with the addition of 3 pelvic floor preparation sessions with Dr. Brussee and 3 fertility nutritional support sessions with Lisa Mejia.
Manual Therapy for Infertility Research
In addition to the two studies that exclusively examined the effectiveness of Mercier Therapy, the broader scope of research on manual therapy for infertility demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach. Several studies have evidenced significant positive outcomes through the application of manual techniques targeting the female reproductive organs. While not explicitly employing the Mercier approach, these studies affirm the efficacy of specialized manual therapy in the realm of reproductive health, as more research in this area continues to be conducted.
Kramp M. E. (2012). Combined manual therapy techniques for the treatment of women with infertility: a case series. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 112(10), 680–684.
Rice, A. D., Patterson, K., Wakefield, L. B., Reed, E. D., Breder, K. P., Wurn, B. F., King Iii, R., & Wurn, L. J. (2015). Ten-year Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of a Manual Physical Therapy to Treat Female Infertility. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, at5233. Advance online publication.
Wurn, B. F., Wurn, L. J., King, C. R., Heuer, M. A., Roscow, A. S., Hornberger, K., & Scharf, E. S. (2008). Treating fallopian tube occlusion with a manual pelvic physical therapy. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 14(1), 18–23.
Wurn, B. F., Wurn, L. J., King, C. R., Heuer, M. A., Roscow, A. S., Scharf, E. S., & Shuster, J. J. (2004). Treating female infertility and improving IVF pregnancy rates with a manual physical therapy technique. MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine, 6(2), 51.