By Faye Martins
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 12 percent of the U.S. childbearing population suffers from an impaired ability to have children while close to seven and a half percent of women of childbearing age are infertile. Causes of infertility vary from blocked fallopian tubes to polycystic ovary syndrome to a variety of minor but highly influential factors like age, weight, diet, smoking and stress.
The CDC lists several treatment options for infertility: medication, surgery, artifical insemination or assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization. Unfortunately, even with all of these expensive medical interventions, at least one-third of the couples treated for infertility still do not end up conceiving.
It is interesting that the CDC lists only medical interventions for infertility treatment since many studies concluded over the last decade or so that for unexplained infertility or infertility not related to a major problem like fibroids or blocked fallopian tubes, making lifestyle changes to reduce stress and stay healthy contributes to an increase in fertility.
Doctors have surmised that women who suffer from infertility have stress levels as high as those who were recently diagnosed with a major disease like HIV, and if a combination of unhealthy factors like stress, weight and diet affect a woman’s fertility, then reducing or eliminating unhealthy factors may in fact increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant and carrying the baby to term. To this end, many researchers have suggested improving physical and emotional health through methods like exercise, improved diet and yoga for meditative relaxation.
Yoga for Infertility
Yoga serves as an excellent alternative or complementary way to influence a woman’s body toward a healthier, more productive balance. Due to the fact that asanas strengthen and tone the body in an attempt to establish a mind-body awareness, women or couples who practice derive the physical benefits of healthier bodies in addition to the relaxation benefits that meditating and practicing breathing techniques offer.
Some yoga practices even recommend certain poses and emphases for women struggling with infertility. Poses that open up the hips and pelvis or relax the belly and abdomen to encourage the downward flow of prana, which may open up a constricted uterine or stressed out nervous system, can increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
Practitioners also note an added benefit to practicing yoga during a struggle with infertility. Women who can’t get pregnant often form a conflicted or negative perspective of their bodies, but a consistent yoga practice can help restore self-love and a positive relationship to the physical body.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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