Bianca's Story

University Hospitals Physical Therapist Enhances Patient’s Fertility

Bianca Steel with Jessica Jenkins For more than four years, 27-year-old Bianca Steel of Cleveland had been trying to conceive a baby with no success. A hormone imbalance, sensitivity to soaps/detergents and certain fabrics, along with pelvic pain, weren’t helping. While she was on a waiting list to see a fertility specialist, Bianca’s OB/GYN suggested that she see physical therapist Jessica Jenkins, PT, DPT, CLT, at University Hospitals Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center to assist with her pelvic pain. And that is when her life changed.

Bianca, who is a cashier with Standard Parking at UH Cleveland Medical Center, began seeing Jessica in March 2015. While their sessions were primarily intended for the treatment of Bianca’s pelvic pain, Jessica also used manual therapy techniques designed to enhance Bianca’s fertility.

The causes of infertility are varied, but they may result from hormonal changes and/or a physical blockage in the reproductive system such as scar tissue, fascial (connective tissue) restrictions or congested lymphatics (channels in the body that carry fluid). Specially trained physical therapists like Jessica help enhance a woman’s fertility through the use of specific, gentle hands-on massage techniques. Combined with resistive exercises that the patient performs at home, these techniques help “unblock” the mechanical restrictions that may be inhibiting pregnancy.

At Bianca’s sixth physical therapy session, she announced the exciting news: she was pregnant.

“Jessica and I were both so happy that we burst into tears,” said Bianca, who is expecting her bundle of joy on Dec. 20. “I had such a great experience with Jessica. She was so supportive, and always in my corner. I felt so comfortable with her, and because she’s a parent as well, I could tell her anything.”