Over the years we have heard that yoga can solve several bodily problems. It is even a recommended practice by doctors everywhere for developing a healthy lifestyle. Yoga is known to help with general reproductive health, however, does yoga increase fertility work? In this blog by Dr. Manish Banker, Ahmedabad, let us understand how yoga helps with reproductive health and also explore fertility yoga, yoga poses for pregnancy, etc.
How does yoga help with the prevention of infertility?
According to the Diplomat, infertility is a very concerning issue in India. It affects 10-14% of the population in India. It is largely noticed in urban areas and there is a whopping number of 27.5 million people suffering from it. Thankfully, assistive reproductive technologies have been developed and the accessibility to experienced infertility specialists such as Dr Banker, Gujarat has become easier. However, yoga to increase fertility is becoming a very popular concept due to a plethora of benefits. Let us look at some of them:
Strengthens and increases resilience:
Bodyweight and reproductive health go hand-in-hand. Having excess weight can cause infertility problems both in men and women. In fact, for many reproductive or hormonal problems such as PCOS, doctors recommend including yoga or exercise in the patient’s lifestyle. When you compare with our previous generations, Indians today due to lifestyle changes spend more time sitting down. While sitting down for long hours, blood flow is restricted and there is only a limited flow to the pelvis and reproductive organs. This way, yoga helps with increasing blood circulation and opens the reproductive regions making them more flexible and stronger.
Helps with stress, anxiety and depression:
Poor mental health is the mother of all physical problems. Mental health can make a person feel demotivated and push them towards an active lifestyle. Studies have also shown that 40% of the women who are going through infertility treatments experience some level of anxiety, depression, stress, or all three of them. When a person is dealing with such negative emotions, asking them to merely relax is unhelpful and may be counter-effective. One can make use of yoga for conceiving, yoga for ovulation, yoga for an increase in sperm count, etc to actively tackle the issue. Incorporating yoga and mindfulness into your daily lifestyle can regulate your body’s stress levels and help improve your immune system. Studies have also shown that women who are going through infertility when they practiced yoga to increase infertility, their anxiety decreased by 20%. As for women who are not seeking any treatments, yoga helps in the prevention of infertility by keeping one’s mental health in check in general itself.
An article published in 2012, showed that when stress levels are kept in check, hormone levels too are regulated. The body and mind are connected, so a meticulous practice of yoga to increase fertility also leads to overall balance. This stands to be true both for men and women. In this particular study conducted in South Asia, yoga to increase fertility helped in general ovarian health and reproductive functions.
Yoga to increase sperm count:
According to the Times Of India, the average Indian male deals with a lower sperm count than before. There has been a fall in the sperm count, from 60 million per ml, it has reduced to 20 million per ml over the last three decades. The number of normal cells in a person has reduced by more than one-third. Globally, it has been studied that low counts can be caused by weight gain, lifestyle changes, smoking, and exposure to chemicals. There are no specific poses in yoga to increase sperm count, however, yoga can help with all the factors that contribute to low counts. It manages stress and anxiety, which leads to better performance which can increase a couple’s chances of achieving pregnancy. It also helps with weight loss, which helps in the prevention of infertility.
Yoga for IVF:
If you or your partner is going through IVF, Embryo Transfer, or other ART (Assisted reproductive technology), yoga can help increase the chances of conceiving a baby. Research has shown that yoga helps with both women’s psychological well-being. As mentioned earlier yoga can lead to better and comfortable performance which is imperative for a successful pregnancy. Many couples agree that yoga when compiled with ART has eased their stress level regarding their pregnancy. Please note that if you are practicing yoga while seeking ART, do consult your doctor about which poses to avoid and which poses can be practiced.
Now that we understood that practicing yoga to pregnant is a useful and healthy strategy, let us look at some of the best poses practiced during yoga for conceiving in females.
Best poses in yoga to increase fertility:
- Supta Baddha Konasana- This pose is very useful to release tension and stress in the hips and groin area. Generally, women hold stress and trauma in this area. Therefore, this yoga to increase infertility is the best pose if you have anxiety.
- Shoulderstand- This pose is very vital to increase blood flow to the heart and hips area. If you are suffering from PCOS or other hormonal imbalances, it is an excellent pose in yoga to get ovulation regulated as it regulates thyroid function as well. If you are a beginner, you can do this pose with some support. You can rest your legs on a wall.
- Warrior II- This powerful pose is a great pose in yoga to increase sperm count. It is great for beginners as well. It increases strength in the hips, thighs, and abdominal area activating blood flow in all those regions. More importantly, it is great for reducing stress through the hips.
- Goddess pose- As you do this pose, you will realise your hip area stretching well. This brings flexibility to the pelvic area as well, ensuring that blood flow is increased to the hip and abdominal area.
- Downward facing dog- One of the easiest yoga poses for pregnancy and stress. This position is very useful if you want to feel light on your shoulders. It opens up your shoulders and stretches your back. If you have a job that requires you to sit on your desk, this pose is great for strengthening the back as well.
- Bridge pose- This pose stretches your chest and hip area giving you complete relaxation as it releases stress in the lower abdomen. It strengthens your glutes to help with resilience in the hip area. You can do a full bridge or a supported bridge.
Some points to remember while practicing yoga to increase fertility
- Always consult your doctor before practicing yoga in case you already have complications or injuries.
- People suffering from breathing problems must not hold their breath for a long duration.
- Avoid vigorous exercise after yoga. Recommended taking a break of at least half an hour after yoga.
- Have a proper sequence for yoga- Start with kriyas, then proceed to asanas, pranayama, and yoga Nidra. Do not mix up the order.
- Perform yoga on a stable, plain surface, and on a mat to avoid bruises and injuries.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Do not wear tight, restrictive clothing articles like jeans, jewelry, etc. It is recommended to wear cotton wear that is breathable and light.
- Perform yoga slowly and carefully. Do not rush the process and do not push yourself if it hurts very intensely while stretching.
- Never overstrain or force yourself into a posture, rather relax at equal intervals and do as per your capacity. If any posture is difficult for you to perform, try to skip it and move on.
- Stop immediately if you feel pain at any body part.
Most importantly, keep in mind that yoga is not a fool-proof solution for all your reproductive health problems. It is usually combined with medication and other best practices for improving reproductive health. Yoga for ovulation, yoga to increase sperm count or in general, fertility yoga is a great practice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are experiencing serious issues with regard to infertility, then do consult an infertility specialist such as Dr Manish Banker, Ahmedabad. Simply search for an “infertility specialist near me” and you will find several results.
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1. Can yoga help with egg quality?
There is no evidence that yoga to increase fertility directly helps with improving egg quality. However, yoga can help with weight loss, blood flow, flexibility, reducing stress, and resilience. All of these factors can help with a healthy reproductive system.
2.How can yoga help you get pregnant?
Fertility yoga can help with reducing stress levels, better flexibility, and regulates hormones. This way you have better performance during intercourse and a healthy reproductive system increases your chances of conceiving a baby. Yoga to get pregnant might not be the only solution for your concerns, but it can increase your chances.
3. Does yoga help ovulation?
There are no specific poses in yoga for ovulation, however, yoga, in general, is known to reduce stress and helps with weight loss which is needed for people who are overweight. The hormonal levels are stabilized and therefore ovarian function is regularised and so menstrual cycles will also be regulated.
4. Does Surya namaskar increase sperm count?
There is no specific yoga to increase sperm count. However, yoga can indirectly increase the quality of sperm by bringing in overall hormonal balance. Since yoga also helps with stress and anxiety, one can also expect better performance and sperm motility.