By Dr Anindita Singh
Thousands of couples grapple with fertility issues across the world today and causes for this are plenty. However, stress being the common factor can adversely affect fertility and, in fact, lack of work-life balance can trigger infertility, apart from other aspects like sedentary lifestyle, eating habits and lack of exercise to name a few. To top it all, we are even dealing with a pandemic now. In such trying times, when your body and mind are both dealing with so many issues and emotions, conceiving a child becomes difficult thus leading to disappointment, anxiety and frustration among couples.
At times like these, it is very important to reduce your stress. Of course it is easier said than done. But there are some measures you can take, yoga being one of the important ones.
Can yoga improve fertility?
There are many studies that show that yoga provides benefits to women who are trying to bear a child. Other research studies indicate that yoga can really help couples who are undergoing fertility treatments. That is why, there are many fertility clinics who offer “fertility yoga” as one of their services. Fertility Yoga consists of a certain set of yoga asanas that will help in improving the chances of conceiving. There are many benefits of practicing yoga while trying to get pregnant, some of them are:
The most important benefit of yoga is that it relieves stress. Stress is a known cause of infertility in many people. It is known that women with higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) have a lesser chance of getting pregnant than others. Cortisol interferes with ovulation that leads to reduction in chances of conception. Many couples who are struggling to conceive or are undergoing fertility treatments tend to be anxious/stressed, which is of course natural. The process is all about waiting and when they fail to conceive, even after trying a lot, people tend to get even more anxious and depressed. Many times, people even get angry at their bodies for failing to do what they want.
Yoga helps you lower the stress levels and help you achieve the necessary physical and mental peace that is important to increase your chances of having a baby.
There might be certain blockages in your reproductive system that may be hindering your chances of getting pregnant, yoga helps in increasing the blood circulation in your body as it flushes out all the toxins from your blood. It helps you detoxify and prevents any health issues that may arise.
Hormonal imbalance has become a common cause for problems related to fertility. A healthy endocrine system (a network of glands that produces different hormones which includes thyroid, adrenaline and sex hormones) is essential to achieve optimal fertility. Yoga helps you keep your hormone levels under control.
Reconnect with yourself
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives we forget to take care of our health. Yoga is a great way to step away from everything else, all your worries and try to focus on just yourself. Listening to your body while trying to conceive a baby is highly important. Whenever you fall sick, both your body and mind are telling you to stop. It is very easy to be frustrated with your bodies when you are dealing with fertility issues. But you have to remember that your body also has certain needs and you need to listen to it, if you want to improve your chances of having a baby. Yoga helps you do exactly this. It will give women a sense of connect with her fertility cycle and find a sense of empowerment.
Yoga asanas that will help you boost your fertility:
Yoga poses when combined with deep breathing are a great way to help you conceive. Some of the exercises you can try are:
Paschimottasana: This is an asana done to stretch your lower back muscles, hips and hamstrings. It reduces mental stress and is good for parts of your reproductive system like ovaries and the stomach.
Janu Sirsasana: Also known as the one-legged forward bend, this asana stretches the calves and the hamstrings and also relaxes the muscles of your body.
Baddha Konasana: Commonly known as the butterfly pose, it helps in stretching the muscles of your inner thighs, hips, knees and genitals. Practicing this regularly can also help in smoother delivery process when the time comes.
Bhramari Pranayama: A great yoga asana to improve your breathing. This asana is a must for people trying to reduce their stress levels.
Supta Baddha Konasana: This asana helps in opening up the hip area. It strengthens your inner thigh muscles and helps to reduce bloating and stress.
Balasana: Also known as the child’s pose, this asana resembles a foetal position. It is helpful in stretching the muscles of your thighs, knees, back and hips. Remember to do this one on an empty stomach.
These are just a few asanas that will help you enhance your fertility. Of course, one should remember that yoga is not a one-stop solution. It does not guarantee a baby, but improves your chances of conceiving. It should also be coupled with accurate and proper diagnosis by a doctor and a healthy balanced meal coupled with good sleep hygiene as well. So have a frank discussion with your doctor about your fertility issues, start the necessary treatment and along with that start practising yoga so one day you can enjoy the joy of motherhood.
(The writer is Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Kolkata)
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