Yoga for Fertility: Getting Started

Yoga for Fertility Yoga for Fertility

Want to try a natural way to boost the chance of getting pregnant and also ease stress? Consider yoga for infertility.

Yoga for infertility is natural and affordable and can easily be added to your fertility regimen. As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before embarking on your yoga for infertility journey.

Getting started with yoga for infertility
Yoga is an ancient practice that began in India several thousand years ago. Its popularity has grown immensely in the last few decades in the United States. In fact, it is hard to find a fitness center that doesn’t offer some type of yoga class.

Some women enjoy practicing yoga from DVDs at home. However, an experienced yoga instructor, one who is familiar with women’s health issues, will be your best guide with yoga for infertility.

Why use a yoga instructor?
The benefits of working with a yoga instructor are many.  A good yoga teacher will structure the class so that the meditative aspect of the yoga practice is as strong as the physical practice.

Hands-on adjustments can also improve your alignment with yoga postures, helping you to get the most out of the practice.

Relax and say “Om”
Stress may not necessarily cause infertility. However, women undergoing fertility treatment often report high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Sometimes these feelings of stress and anxiety are side effects of fertility medications.

Researchers have studied women who are struggling to conceive and report that infertile women often have stress levels similar to those with life-threatening illnesses.

To counteract this effect, many fertility specialists recommend that women find a source of stress relief in their daily lives. Yoga for infertility is a great option.

Regular yoga practice may improve the way you react to stressors in your life. Learning stress reduction methods lowers levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your blood, improving your sleep and mood.

Yoga may help women with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Both of these conditions are associated with inflammation, which can be caused by stress. Yoga reduces your stress level, which may lower inflammation and reduce symptoms of endometriosis and PCOS.

Lack of sleep associated with infertility
Doctors find that women dealing with infertility may not sleep very well. When we don’t get enough sleep, all of our body systems are affected, including our hormonal and reproductive systems.

Yoga may help change that. If your doctor approves, vigorous yoga styles like Bikram, Astanga and Vinyasa yoga are a sweaty and intense form of exercise that can help you sleep more peacefully.

If powerful forms of yoga are not for you, gentle yoga for infertility classes can help you relax during the day and prepare you for a restful night’s slumber.

Achieve a healthy weight
Many infertility patients notice side effects of fertility medications including weight gain and bloating. Exercise programs such as yoga reduce water retention and tone the body.

With yoga for infertility, mood-boosting neurochemicals are released when you exercise, improving blood flow to your internal organs. In yoga for infertility, the muscles in your hips, groin and lower back relax; your muscles loosen; tension is released; and reproductive health improves.

If you are overweight, yoga is a great addition to your weight loss program.

Love your body again
Some women that are diagnosed with infertility feel that their bodies have failed them. To counteract negative thoughts, yoga for infertility teachers advise their students to focus on body awareness and acceptance. Yoga meditations can help women learn to let go of judgment, disappointment, and feelings of failure

The yoga connection
Ask your fertility specialist if yoga for infertility classes exist in your community. If not, consider asking a local yoga studio to start a class or check with your local hospital or wellness center. Some places offer classes tailored specifically to women.

Pulling Down the Moon, a fertility wellness center based in Chicago and Washington, D.C., reports that 75 percent of the women taking their yoga for infertility classes are pregnant within six months.

Some studies show that participation in support groups may increase rates of pregnancy for infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization. Yoga for infertility classes may offer similar benefits for women hoping to get pregnant.

Ask a doctor about alternative fertility treatments

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  • IntegraMed Fertility Network: Relieving Stress in the Fertility Clinic
  • The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability: Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities
  • NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Yoga for Health: An Introduction
  • Pulling Down the Moon: Holistic Fertility Primer: Fertility Yoga
  • Yoga Journal: When you want to have a baby...but can't.