Yoga for Fertility

candlesIn Six Steps to Increased Fertility (Simon & Schuster, 2000), the authors found that 20 percent of couples in the U.S. are estimated to have fertility difficulties.

“Women who are infertile, especially in the long term, are extremely stressed out,” explains Rahul Sachdev, M.D., a specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “One study has shown that the stress levels of an infertile woman are actually similar to those of someone just told they have HIV.”

According to Alice Domar, PhD, formerly of Harvard Medical School, creator of a fertility program at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and who later opened the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, stress has physiological effects that will alter the balance of hormones in the body—especially relating to fertility. “Recent research supports the theory that psychological distress can have effects on multiple systems… The impact of these perturbations by psychological stress and depression could then in turn adversely affect ovulation, fertilization, tubal function, or implantation.”

Stressful emotions activate the sympathetic nervous system, causing the adrenal glands to release epinephrine into the bloodstream One of the most powerful effects of epinephrine is that it constricts blood vessels. Dr. Sachdev says this constriction may also occur in the uterus, thus interfering with conception.

So, stress impairs conception and women who are infertile for long periods of time are extremely stressed. More stress leads to the endocrine system working against conception which leads to more stress which leads to loss of desire to to work with the body. It’s easy to see how a horrible cycle can easily begin.

That’s where Yoga for Fertility can help.

Domar’s Harvard based study found that “women who were trying for a baby were three times more likely to conceive if they took fertility focussed yoga courses than those who did not.”

There are three goals to Yoga for Fertility classes – reduce stress, stimulate and tone the reproductive system and regulate the body’s hormone levels by improving the endocrine function.

So, what poses in particular help the most?

REJUVENATE BODY / RESTORATIVE POSES –> REMOVE STRESS

child’s pose balasana
seated forward bend paschimottanasana
legs up the wall viparita karani

STIMULATE HORMONE PRODUCTION / HORMONAL REBALANCE

supported headstand salamba sirsasana
bridge setu bandha sarvangasana

STIMULATE & RELAX ABDOMINAL & REPRODUCTIVE REGIONS

reclining bound angle pose supta baddha konasana
reclining hero’s pose supta virasana
final relaxation pose savasana
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