When trying to conceive, whether through natural or assisted methods, it is always important to eat healthy and exercise daily. Eating your fruits and veggies, staying hydrated by drinking lots of water, and taking your prenatal multivitamins are important first steps.
Exercise is just as important. One way to do that is through fertility yoga. Let’s explore the connection between fertility and yoga.
Many gyms or yoga studios offer fertility yoga classes these days. Hopefully yours is finally open after being shut down the last few months due to the pandemic.
If not, you can still watch yoga classes in the comfort of your own home and follow along. But does fertility yoga really help with IVF (in vitro fertilization)?
As always, seek the advice of your obstetrician/gynecologist or fertility specialist if this is a good exercise regimen for you to start or continue.
Most yoga poses are easy and safe to do, provided you are under the direction of a certified yoga instructor. It would be best, especially if your new to yoga, that you attend a class where a yoga teacher will be able to correct your posture and make sure you are not overstretching.
Fertility yoga is a series of yoga poses that are believed to reduce your stress levels and detoxify your body.
These poses uses a specific series of stretches that have a positive effect on a woman’s reproductive health – primarily focusing on the pelvic region and blood circulation. They stimulate blood flow to the uterus, hips, abdominal organs, and heart which support and nurture the reproductive and endocrine system.
Fertility yoga helps the body to maintain homeostasis, which is essential for the body to operate efficiently and effectively. And since yoga is a low impact workout, it is great for women to continue with the exercise once pregnant.
There are many benefits to doing fertility yoga. Some of them include –
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You want to decrease your cortisol levels which is stress related.
- Correct misalignment in the pelvic region. It is important to take care of this baby making and holding area.
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. This is said to improve and regulate ovulation.
- Improve sleep. This added benefit of better sleep maintains your overall health.
I’m by no means a yoga expert, but there are numerous poses I’ve learned over the years that help with fertility. Most of them are basically hip openers which ironically help pregnant women with childbirth. The 5 that I especially like when I was doing fertility yoga are –
- Sun salutation
- Seated forward bend
- Goddess Pose
Please check out this link, she does a wonderful job explaining how to do each pose with images and the benefits of each to improve fertility. There are many more fertility yoga poses that one can do. Again, exercise caution when doing them. You don’t want to overstretch and risk injury.
IVF and Yoga
Does fertility yoga help with IVF? Fertility and yoga aren’t directly linked, but the practice can help with some of the symptoms that make trying to conceive difficult.
Symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression are even more amplified when dealing with IVF. Fertility yoga, just like meditation or acupuncture, can help ease that tension but does not increase IVF success rates.
Did you know that men can do fertility yoga too? It is said to improve sperm production, improve testosterone levels, and promote blood circulation to the pelvic area. This link also describes the many yoga poses men can do (some are similar to the women’s) that can aid in fertility.
I had no idea that fertility yoga can possibly help men too. I would’ve made my husband do yoga with me too:)
There are many resources that you can find online – classes, DVDs, or books – that can help you on your fertility journey. Some that I like include –
Fertile Hope Yoga – online fertility yoga classes; free trial of a yoga for fertility course
Erin McCollough, founder of Fertile Hope Yoga, helps you from going to surviving to thriving in your fertility journey through the use of yoga. She has over 20 years experience working in one of the nation’s top 10 fertility clinics.
Bend, Breathe, and Conceive – video you can rent or buy; includes meditations
Restoring Fertility – DVD set highly recommended by fertility specialists; integrates yoga with acupuncture points
This yoga for fertility DVD series was developed by reproductive medicine specialists who have helped thousands of women become pregnant.
Yoga and Fertility – a book for those who prefer to read more about fertility yoga; includes many photos and clear descriptions for all yoga levels
Jill Petigara and Lynn Jensen, both fertility yoga instructors, have taught many fertility yoga classes. They demonstrate optimal poses for fertility enhancement in every stage of your cycle whether you are trying to conceive through natural or assisted reproductive techniques.
Whether you decide to try yoga, meditation, or acupuncture to help you ease the stress of trying to conceive, do what makes you feel comfortable and safe. Do your personal research and seek your doctor’s advice – your ultimate goal is to be healthy and stay healthy.
If there was a magic activity or pill that would guarantee conception, then we wouldn’t need IVF or any other assisted reproductive treatments. Nothing is guaranteed, you just want to be in your most optimal health to improve your chances of conception.
So whether or not yoga improves fertility, it may at least be worth giving it a try for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. All things we can do without in our life right now. Namaste!
Have you tried yoga? Do you think it helps with fertility? Feel free to check out some of the resources and would love to hear from you. Please leave your questions or comments below.