How Does Yoga for Fertility Work?

The Fertile Hope Yoga (FHY) program, founded by Erin McCollough, offers a deliberate way of practicing yoga that honors exactly where you are in your cycle no matter if you are trying to conceive naturally or with assisted reproductive technology. 90% of Erin’s yoga for fertility students have achieved pregnancy over the last 10 years. Yoga for fertility not only focuses on sequences of yoga postures that when practiced together create certain physiological effects in the body, but also on the mindset needed around fertility to create success.

Increased Pregnancy Rates!

What the Research Says

Harvard researcher Ali Domar PhD showed that 55% of infertility patients who participated in her mind-body program for a 10 week period (which included yoga and meditation) conceived compared to 20% in the control group when tested over a year. This means that women increased their chances of pregnancy by 175% or were 3X as likely to get pregnant!

Improved Fertility!

What the Research Says

Harvard researcher Ali Domar PhD published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association that showed that 42% of 132 infertile women who participated in a mind-body program conceived within six months of completing the program. Not only that, but the more depressed a woman was before the program started, the more likely she was to get pregnant after participating in the program.

Mind body techniques such as yoga have also been shown to improve in vitro fertilization success rates by lowering stress hormones. In a behavioral study of 151 women undergoing IVF, birth rates were 93% higher for women with lowest stress and depression levels.

  • While all physical exercise increases blood flow, some exercises, like running, direct blood primarily to the large skeletal muscles and away from our internal organs. Yoga helps direct blood to the reproductive organs. When we have . good blood flow this means increased oxygen, nutrients, hormones and nourishment to the reproductive organs to optimize function and cellular health. Tight muscles can obstruct blood flow as well. Increased blood flow also means a decrease in inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of all disease.

Yoga Relieves Stress, Anxiety and Depression (decrease in stress equals increase rates of pregnancy)!

What the Research Says

In one study, 112 women who were visiting their fertility clinic for a new course of treatment were given a psychiatric interview. Of these 112 patients, 40% had anxiety or depression (Chen et al, 2004). Women with female factor infertility who had increased depressive symptoms on day three of their IVF cycle experience significantly lower pregnancy rates than did women who were not depressed.

We aimed to evaluate potential effects of Iyengar Hatha yoga on perceived stress and associated psychological outcomes in mentally distressed women. Women suffering from mental distress participating in a Iyengar yoga class show significant improvements on measures of stress and psychological outcomes. Further investigation of yoga with respect to prevention and treatment of stress-related disease and of underlying mechanism is warranted.

  • Practicing yoga elicits the Relaxation Response (a phenomenon named by Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute). The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that occures when a person is deeply relxaed. It interrupts the body’s physical and emotional responses to stress, allowing it to return to a calm, releaxed state. When a person elicits the relaxation response, there is a measurable decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, stress-hormone levels, and muscle tension. It also causes normal waking brain-wave patterns to shift to predominantly slower patterns and pave the way for the hormonal and immune systems to return to normal. The physiology of the relaxation response is mediated by the hypothalamus which also regulates all aspects of reproduction. The relaxation response helps alleviate symptoms of PMS, anxiety, migraines, irritable bowel, etc…
  • Chronic low to high levels of stress increase cortisol production which ultimately pulls on the bank of reproductive hormones, depleting them in order to make stress hormones. This depletion will start to affect fertility, sex drive, energy and mood.
  • Researchers estimate that some 80% of chronic health problems are exacerbated by stress. Women who are highly stressed and depressed are less likely to become pregnant, either naturally via assisted reproductive techniques.
  • Feel Better, Take Back Control of Your Life, Cope in a Positive Way, Prepare Yourself to Make Choices that will Contribute to Your Happiness and Health for the Rest of Your Life

    What the Research Says

    In research published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, experts at the University of California at San Diego reported that stress may play a role in the success of infertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). After administering a series of questionnaires designed to measure patients’ stress levels, the researchers found that women who scored highest — indicating the highest levels of stress — had ovulated 20% fewer eggs compared with women who were less stressed. Moreover, of those who were able to produce eggs, those who were most stressed were 20% less likely to achieve fertilization success.

    Participation in a two-month yoga class can lead to significant reduction in perceived levels of anxiety in women who suffer from anxiety disorders. This study suggest that yoga can be considered as a complementary therapy or an alternative method for medical therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

    Ninety adolescent (15-18 years) girls from a residential college in Andhra Pradesh, who satisfied the Rotterdam criteria, were randomized into two groups. The study concluded twelve weeks of a holistic yoga program in adolescents with polycystic ovarian syndrome is significantly better than physical exercise programs in reducing anxiety symptoms.

    Ready to increase your chances of pregnancy 3X with Fertile Hope Yoga?