Chiropractor Questions Spina Bifida

Is fertility reduced with spina bifida?

My husband has spina bifida and we have been discussing starting a family. Will his condition affect our odds?

38 Answers

It's possible
If you and your husband are of child bearing age. Get both of you checked out to avoid issues later. There are different levels of spina bifida. I also have it and I had no problems getting pregnant at 34
It depends on the severity of the spina bifida and there could be other factors like erectile dysfunction. But it would be best to check with a urologist.
Great Question.

Do you live in the Rockford area?

You can always visit for updated info and to make an appointment with me.
Great question. It varies from individual to individual. Due to the neurological system that goes to the reproductive organs starting in that lumbosacral region, it’s possible. I’d get an orthopedic and neurological evaluation done by a chiropractor to determine if there is a pinched nerve due to this birth anomaly.
No. As long as he can make sperm and semen to reach your eggs. Advise consulting your doctor's clinic regarding complications relating to spina bifida in men.
Thank you for your question. I am unfamiliar with any relation between spina bifida and fertility. After some preliminary research, I was unable to find any correlation between the two. I would recommend asking your primary care doctor and/or a fertility specialists.
It shouldn't be a factor because the reproductive system is separate from the spine. You never know with fertility until you try. If you have been trying for several months and nothing is happing then you can get tested to see if the issue of fertility is a sperm or egg issue. Chiropractic has been know to help infertility issues.
Spina bifida causes nerve damage that can affect sexual functioning. Females with spina bifida are affected less often than males. However, most people with spina bifida are fertile, and can have children.
There is a possibility that spina bífida could affect male fertility depending on location and the nerves involved. In most cases, it is not an issue. If you feel it could be contributing, I recommend seeing your doctor for further evaluation.
Not to my knowledge. This is something I believe is a higher power's decision.
For men with spina bífida, bladder function is inseparable from sexual function. Some of the same nerves that control urinary function also are important in sexual function. The lower the level of the SB lesion, the more likely that there will be normal nerve function and therefore, normal sexual function. Higher level lesions may be associated with sexual dysfunction, and may require medical advice or support. Half of the men with lesion lower then L5 can procreate without any medical help. If you are having difficulties, your husband should get checked by an urologist to evaluate his bladder.
Spina bifida is a genetic malformation of the spine. In men it will not typically cause infertility however the genes can be passed on to the children. I see spina bifida all the time on x-rays where patients never knew they had it. There are more severe cases of spina bifida that could potentially cause health issues but are usually rare. Your doctor can usually detect these issues early with ultrasounds and treatments are typically available. There are many other causes of infertility such as PCOS. Thyroid disorders and hormone imbalances. If you are having problems with fertility this would be a great area to start. Feel free to schedule a FREE consultation with our office to find out how we may be able to help you. 770-545-8888
There are so many factors influencing fertility for both partners, including spinal misalignments or irregularities. The easiest thing to do is first try naturally and if it doesn't work have your husband get his sperm tested. If there are problems, speak with a fertility expert and good luck!
Following a brief review of available scientific literature, the potential
for dysfunction is primarily maintaining erectile capability, not quality
of male fertility. There are medical treatment options for this
complication beyond the usual ED drugs. Consultation with a neurologist
and/or urologist would be an appropriate next step should you need further
information, evaluation or treatment.
Most likely this condition should not affect fertility. There have been cases in the past where spina bifida has affected fertility, however there are different cases of severity.
Yes it can. It has been found that most men and women with spina bifida are fertile. I recommend your husband to do a fertility test.
Spina Bifida can affect fertility. However, adjustment can avoid in-fertility and allow fertility to increase.
Spina bifida will not affect the fertility by itself. It may affect fertility by limiting the sexual activity due to lower back pain, muscle weakness or other symptoms if severe. According to the Chinese medicine, many of those that have spina bifida have deficiency of kidney essence which is necessary for fertility. It is important to have adequate amount of sleep and rest to make both of your body in optimal condition before you try to have baby. You may need some help from fertility specialists including gynecologist and acupuncturist/herbalist help when it does not seem to happen smoothly.
Depending on which nerves are affected, it is very possible to have something like spina bifida affect the nerves to the reproductive complex. As long as you're not having pain with it and it is not likely to be affected by a growing uterus then the best thing to do is try and see what your body allows.

Dr. Reeves
Usually men who have spina bifida have no problem to father a child. Sometimes they are found to have some type of sexual dysfunction but it usually does not affect fertility. There is no clear correlation between the two that I am aware of.
You should definitely not worry about it but if after trying for some time you want to check to make sure everything is ok with both of you, it's definitely a possibility but remember one of the most important thing when trying to conceive a child is to relax and let things happen!
I wish you the best in this new adventure and remember also how chiropractic is important before, during and after birth for the whole family 
I doubt it.
Spina bifida can cause neuromuscular problems, which may lead to weird body positions or movement that makes intercourse awkward, but that is not a true fertility problem. The inability to produce healthy living (viable) sperm is what is considered a type of fertility problem for males. If you think your partner is having fertility problems, you can first visit a urologist and then a fertility specialist. Just keep in mind, most males with spina bifida are fertile, conception issues probably are due to something else. In conclusion, having a healthy nervous system will allow the entire body, including the reproductive system the ability to function better. This reason alone is one of the greatest reasons to regularly visit the chiropractor.
I want to say that "anything" can affect a woman's odds of getting pregnant. What degree is the spina bifida and are there any findings that show what nerves may be affected are two follow up questions I would ask. Chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition and craniosacral may definitely help. Everyone is different and different treatments help different people. I know. A lot of "differenta". Again, I do not know the exact situation.

There are many resources online that may help you as well.
Hi there have been a number of studies in this topic. I suggest you see a fertility specialist. Here is a link to the most current research I could find on the topic.
Spina bifida can effect the nerves that are responsible for urinary and bowel function, as well as sexual function. Sometimes, with men, though sexual function is seemingly normal, there is no ejaculation. However, if you're not noticing any altered sexual function, it is likely that he is perfectly fertile. If you're in doubt, or are having difficulty conceiving, you can of course see a physician, but it is just as likely that the condition has no effect whatsoever. Good luck!
Spina bifida is where the mother is deficient in Folic acid (vit B9) during early stages of pregnancy. The condition is characterized by incomplete formation of the back components of the vertebras. Depending on the severity of the condition the patient may show neurological signs and symptoms. Spinal restrictions may interfere with nervous system performance (like dimming down the intesity of the light, the light bulb is still on but not at full capacity) affecting nerves and organs that depends on them. I would strongly recommend you to get evaluated by a chiropractor as lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum manual manipulation could greatly benefit both of you. Is drug/medication free and it will help you improve your nervous performance. Sexual organs like testes depends on nerves that branch off nerve roots coming out of the spine. At this point I have not seen a case of spina bifida that does not qualify for chiropractic care, but again you need to get evaluated and have X Rays of the area.
Although there is a chance of nerve damage or compression with spina bifida that could affect fertility, most males will not have any trouble with it. Most are fertile and should have no problems.
Depending on the degree of the condition, spina bifida can affect sexual function. In general, it does not affect fertility and females are generally less affected.
It all depends on whether or not the spina bifida is interfering with the nerves going to his reproductive system. If so, than it may lower the odds. However, lifestyle plays an important role in improving your odds at conceiving. With the spina bifida you can't control, but you can control how healthy your lifestyle can be.
I am unsure with how spina bifida will affect your chances of becoming pregnant (naturally), but as you probably already know, there is a direct relationship between the nerves of the low back and the function of the reproductive organs for both men and women.

Never the less, maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system along with your other healthy habits will give your body the best opportunity for healing. Hope this helps!
In patients I have worked on in the past, spina bifida has not been a risk factor for lowered fertility.

Spina bifida literally just means "bi-fid spinous" which means the tip of the spinal bone is divided into two pieces rather than the usual one piece.
I don't believe spina bifida itself will directly cause any infertility issues. However, if there is spinal mis-alignment with the spina bifida, then that can some times cause some issues with fertility. The other part of the puzzle to look at would be the nutritional aspect (of both of you, actually.)
Not necessarily. As long as there isn't abnormal tension on your spinal cord from the spina bifida you shouldn't have decreased fertility. Get your spine and pelvis checked by a skilled chiropractor to be sure you have the healthiest body possible and the best chance for a successful pregnancy.

Our office helped 14 ladies get pregnant and have successful births last year, so be sure to get adjusted and you can enjoy your pregnancy. :)
Dr. Michelle Wendling DC
Normally, it won't. Spinal Bifida is a genetic condition and most people are born with it. It can be from mild to severe. Unless it's severe, it won't cause any neurological issues. If it's not affecting your husband's daily activities, I don't see how it'll affect your odds. Best of luck to you.
Spina bifida is a condition where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. It may or may not affect fertility, depending on the severity of the condition.

Most of the time, spinal bifida would not affect sperm production. However, it could cause problems mechanically or neurologically, which would result in difficulty during sexual intercourse.

As long as your husband has no disability in erectile function and does not experience significant amount of pain in his lower back during sexual intercourse, then there should be not much concern in relation to fertility.

If he experiences lower back pain during the act, maybe he should try for a different position.

Lastly, it is a good idea to have radiographic study and MRI study for the lower back because these imaging studies would help you to find out if any potential mechanical or neurological concerns exist, i.e. intervertebral disc herniation, spinal instability, etc. Fertility test (sperm count) is useful as well. Hope this helps.
The question is whether it is SB occulta or manifesta. Is there any neurological involvement, voluntary or autonomic? These are general questions to consider with what you are asking. Would suggest an exam and lab work for additional info. Chiropractic may help along with other possible avenues. Hope this helps some. Good luck and best wishes.