One way of improving fertility outcomes while undergoing fertility treatment is by practicing yoga. Fertility yoga has been gaining popularity as a tool for helping to boost fertility. Yoga is known for preserving and maintaining physical and mental health.
Does yoga increase fertility?
Certain yoga poses can reduce stress levels, cleanse the body of toxins as well as improve circulation and flexibility especially in the hip and pelvic area. It is also known to help keep hormonal imbalances in check which in turn can boost fertility.
According to a study published in PubMed, the success of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) can be affected by a patient’s psychological, social, and physical status. The study examined the effects of yoga-including asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (proper breathing), shavasana, and meditation-on male and female fertility and ART outcomes. They study found that “yoga can help couples overcome infertility and increase the ART success rate by improving the physiological and psychological states of both men and women.”1
Another study by Dr. Alice Domar at Harvard has proved that women who took fertility focused yoga courses were almost three times more likely to conceive than those who did not.2
Yet another study published in 2012 states, “Yoga for fertility improves both female and male infertility by minimizing stress, which consecutively balances the hormones of the body with improvement in mental health; thereby increasing a couple’s ability to conceive. However, persuasive research in this scientific field is still unmapped.”3
Couples can do fertility yoga together to help them overcome stress related to the strenuous IVF procedure.
Yoga and Fertility for Women
An article that reviewed 87 studies concluded that yoga could help relieve stress in women with infertility issues.4 The following benefits were perceived:
- reducing their anxiety and depression
- improving their sleep
- helping them manage the stresses of pregnancy, labor, and birth
- improving their quality of life during pregnancy or after stillbirth for women.
The article also reported benefits for stress management in patients with infertility Yoga may help to
- manage ovulation and oocytes improvement for fertility
- decrease depression, anxiety, and stress
Yoga and Fertility for Men
The benefits of regular yoga practice were not limited to women with infertility. Men with infertility also benefited may be able to experience improvements in sperm count, sperm motility, and prostate secretion showed improvement in men who practiced yoga.
Top Yoga Poses to Boost Fertility
Warm up by sitting in the lotus position, taking a few deep breaths and then rotating your head in one direction and then the other way. Straighten your legs and rotate your feet in one direction and then the other as well as stretch your foot away from you and towards you alternately. Stretch your arms as well by moving them in a circular motion a few times.
Dandasana: This position helps with correcting posture and strengthening the back muscles, the hamstrings and the core which in turn energizes the body and leads to decreased stress. Remain in this position for at least a minute and repeat this asana 3 to 5 times.5
Paschimottanasana: Also known as seated forward fold stretches the muscles on your lower back, hips and hamstrings. It is said to improve fertility in women by vitalizing important organs like the ovaries and stomach and stretching the spine improves the blood flow toward the pelvis and head while reducing mental stress. Hold this position for two minutes.6
Janu Sirsasana: It is the one-legged forward bend or the head to knee pose. It stretches the calves and the hamstrings of your body while relaxing the muscles of the abdomen. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.7
Sarvangasana: Also known as shoulder stand helps treat thyroid conditions and relieves stress.8
Bhramari Pranayama: Also called the humming bee breath asana is done by placing your thumb over your ears, closing your eyes with the rest of your fingers and making a humming bee sound in a high pitch tone while exhaling for as long as you can. It calms the body. Do 6 to 7 times.9
Setu Bandhasana: Also known as the bridge pose, improves body circulation and helps expand the pelvic region while having a calming effect on the brain.10
Shavasana: This is a simple posture, also known as the corpse posture. It is done at the end of each yoga posture to normalize the heartbeat and also relax strained muscles. It is basically lying flat on your back and breathing normally for 3 to 4 minutes. It can give you a peaceful rest.11
Other fertility yoga poses may want to try include:
- Viparita Karani
- Kapalbhati Pranayama
- Anulom vilom
Practice these moves regularly to help you relax and de-stress. However, make sure you have mastered the correct posture and breathing techniques by learning from a certified yoga instructor in order to avoid any injury. Contact us at Xenith Advanced Fertility Centre if you would like to learn about how to boost your fertility through yoga!