After years of religiously using birth control, you’ve decided to pull the goalie.
Trying for a baby was fun at first. But it’s no longer as much fun when you're using an ovulation prediction kit and taking negative pregnancy tests month after month. Now you’ve made an appointment with a fertility center and wondering if you'll need to do IVF.
Trust me, you aren’t alone. One in eight couples experiences infertility issues. Trying to conceive can be stressful, and if you're undergoing fertility treatment, it can be downright overwhelming.
It's not surprising that 30 percent of IVF patients suffer from anxiety and depression. In fact, studies have shown that an infertility diagnosis can cause the same amount of stress, anxiety, and depression as an HIV or cancer diagnosis.
The weight of anxiety and depression causes many to drop out of fertility treatment before reaching the goal of parenthood. Plus, the negative effects of stress on the body have been well-documented, and these factors could also affect IVF outcomes.
So, to study effective anxiety and stress reduction techniques for those experiencing infertility, the team at Fertility Centers of Illinois and Pulling Down the Moon completed a Yoga for Fertility program and measured the impact on patients. It was one of the largest controlled studies to date analyzing the impact of yoga on fertility.
Study participants completed 45 minutes of vinyasa-style yoga and 30 minutes of group discussion with other infertility patients once a week over a period of six weeks. Each yoga practice included a gentle series of flowing yoga poses. Group discussion centered on how to apply different yoga techniques (breathing, meditation, working with negative thoughts, and so on) to the fertility journey.
Not only did the yoga program significantly lower anxiety rates by 20 percent in fertility patients, stress relief was achieved quickly, providing an immediate opportunity to improve mental and physical well-being.
How did something as simple as yoga, breathing, and group discussion help with anxiety and stress so quickly? We believe there are three main reasons these techniques were helpful: