Yoga may help support optimal fertility

Yoga is an ancient practice that is praised for providing a multitude of health benefits for numerous systems in the body (e.g., cardiovascular, digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous systems). In addition, yoga may be helpful in assisting women achieve optimal fertility, in part by decreasing stress and promoting relaxation – particularly for women who are coping with the stress of infertility and medical treatments.

For example, fertility yoga instructor Sherry Longbottom leads women through a series of yoga poses designed to promote relaxation and stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region. She believes fertility yoga may help women conceive by reducing anxiety levels and helping them achieve a more calm state.

While there is no evidence to suggest that yoga increases pregnancy rates among women dealing with infertility, women attending fertility yoga classes learn stress reduction techniques which they find useful in their daily lives. In addition, since infertility can be an isolating experience, connecting with other women at fertility yoga classes can be an important source of support. Yoga can also help women feel more connected to, and accepting of, their bodies. Says Dr. Alice Domar, director of mind-body services at Boston IVF: “[Yoga] is a very effective relaxation technique, and a great way to get women in the door to get support. It’s a way to get them to like their bodies again.

More fertility experts are encouraging their patients to seeking alternative treatment approaches like yoga and acupuncture as an adjunct to medical fertility treatments. Dr. Betsy McCormick of the Reproductive Medicine Group asserts that while yoga can’t correct structural problems leading to fertility problems (e.g., blocked or scarred tubes; decreased ovarian reserve), it can help women get through the stresses of trying to get pregnant, and the challenges of undergoing fertility treatments.

To read more about the relationship between yoga and fertility, click here and here:

For women trying to conceive, fertility yoga [ABC News]  

Yoga’s stress relief: An aid for infertility? [The New York Times]

To read more about the relationship between chronic stress and fertility, click here.


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