Yoga, a centuries-old system of exercise and relaxation originating from India, has long been touted for its health benefits that purportedly extend far beyond the range of the physical. Indeed, yoga is a great way to reduce stress, re-connect with your inner self while at the same time improving your overall fitness level. Now, it is also being recommended as a way to increase fertility for couples experiencing difficulty getting pregnant. But does it really work?
What is Fertility Yoga?
Fertility yoga is a specific branch of yoga that has been designed for men and women who are trying to conceive. Fertility yoga follows the basic principles of yoga but combines them with specific postures designed to aid the reproductive organs, thereby increasing your chances of pregnancy.
In addition, because stress can be an influencing factor in a couple’s chances of getting pregnant, fertility yoga also focuses on providing stress relief and relaxation in order to balance the body’s hormones and emotions. In this way, it is believed the body will be more conducive to conception.
The Benefits of Fertility Yoga
Fertility yoga is designed to increase fertility by offering a number of physical and mental health benefits, including:
- Improved physical health: Fertility yoga helps to improve your overall physical health, which in turn, increases your likelihood of getting pregnant. By regularly practicing yoga postures you can:
- tone and strengthen muscles that support your reproductive organs
- improve the total alignment of your body
- increase blood circulation, allowing vital nutrients and oxygen to reach your reproductive system
- increase energy and stamina
- Reduced stress: Unfortunately, stress often goes hand in hand with an infertility diagnosis. What’s worse, couple’s experiencing difficulty getting pregnant often experience high levels of stress, which, as a result, can delay the process even longer. Treatments like IUI and IVF are both infertility treatments many couples consider. However, they can be very taxing emotionally, physically, and financially. That is why many opt to try a natural fertility treatment before going down the medical route.
- Improved relationships: Yoga can also help to improve your relationship with your partner. Studies show partners who perform yoga together learn to communicate better, both verbally and non-verbally. They also learn to relax, focus on their inner selves, and spend more quality time together. This, in turn, can help to alleviate the emotional stress of timed intercourse and introduce more passion into sex.
Does Fertility Yoga Really Work?
A study performed at Harvard Medical School analyzed rates of conception in women who attended fertility "retreats", which included regular practice of fertility yoga. When compared to a control group, women who practiced fertility yoga were twice as likely to get pregnant after a year of trying. However, the researchers admit it is unclear whether the fertility yoga was the real cause of these increased rates.
What studies do show is that fertility yoga is more likely to reduce your own personal stress related to infertility. It is also more likely to increase your own personal health and sense of control, which may help to contribute to personal fertility rates. All in all, there’s nothing to lose – so if you and your partner are looking for a natural fertility treatment, why not give fertility yoga a try?
But before you do, make sure you find out what kinds of fertility yoga are best for you.