Infertility affects millions of people of reproductive age all over the world.
More and more couples are plagued by infertility. However, there are still many more impatient couples than infertile ones.
According to WHO, estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility globally.
Ovulation monitors, temperature curves, the calendar method, a constant peep in your pants for that cervical mucus - tried them all and nothing is working? Studies have proven that stress is a negative factor in female fertility and yoga helps against stress, increasing your chances of conceiving a baby!
The obsession of trying to get pregnant alone can increase a couples' stress levels, thinking they may have a problem when in fact may be possible that there isn't even an iota of a medical problem. How can you get pregnant if you are constantly obsessing over your health?
The good news here is that regular practice of yoga is a tried-and-tested method to help reduce stress & conceive a child naturally and stress-free. It is not a miracle cure, but it can encourage women to relax and not worry too much about not becoming pregnant.
I am sure you may be wondering how an exercise like yoga can aid conception? Well, as you continue reading this article you will learn everything you need to know about fertility yoga.
You can start your journey to motherhood by getting one of our yoga specialists on superprof Nigeria to kickstart the journey of fertility yoga.
Some Numbers on Fertility Problems
For some couples, conceiving a child might not be as easy as it comes for others. However, your case is, try not to obsess about it. There is nothing new under the sun. You wouldn't be the first to have difficulties getting pregnant neither would you be the last.
The fertility rate in Nigeria is estimated to be 5.4, implying that the average woman can expect to have that many children during her life. Yet many Nigerians experience infertility. The prevalence of infertility in sub-Saharan Africa is higher, with 10–30% of couples affected in Nigeria. It is one of the commonest reasons for women to seek gynecologic consultation in Nigeria.
Most women are usually the ones that carry the burden of infertility and when the word come up, the woman having the issue is mostly what you may think. Just so you know, infertility affects both men and women. However, the pressure is mostly on the women.
It is important to note that just because you don’t conceive as soon as you stop contraceptives or even within the next three months doesn’t mean you have fertility problems. It is said that out of 100 couples, only five won’t conceive at all within the first 2 years following the stop of contraceptives. So try not to stress! The word infertility may not be considered for you by a doctor until the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
Let us take a look at some possible reasons for infertility in women:
- Age: Time and biology are on your side during your 20s and diminishes progressively starting 35 years
- Endometriosis: This can make it difficult for some women to get pregnant because the condition can cause blocked fallopian tubes, disrupt implantation, cause inflammation in the pelvis and perhaps impact egg quality.
- Unhealthy body weight: if the woman is too much under-or overweight, it can impact her fertility and interrupt her ovulation cycle
- Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors such as stress, exhaustion due to insufficient sleep, smoking, alcohol use, over-strenuous exercise, eating disorders and so on can cause infertility in some women
- Underlying Medical Problems: some underlying medical conditions such as a thyroid imbalance, depression, undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed STDs can lead to infertility.
- Certain medication, most notable antidepressants and migraine medication.
Some studies have proven that stress is a factor that causes infertility in women. So try as much as possible not to stress while trying to conceive. Thankfully, several minutes of yoga a week lowers a woman’s stress levels by 20%, thus improving her chances of conceiving.
Patience is the word for becoming pregnant. There are many more impatient couples than infertile ones.
Using Yoga To Improve Fertility
The main cause of infertility in women is ovulation problems. However, stress can be an aggravating factor.
“When the organism is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol that can interfere with the reproductive hormones responsible for ovulation,” Nathalie Engler, a Restorative Yoga teacher
Stress can have negative effects on a woman's biological clock and yoga helps reduce stress and prevent premature ageing.
I am sure you must have seen in the movies or heard of prenatal yoga which is a yoga practice specifically designed for pregnant people. This yoga actually addresses concerns that pregnant women would have and encourages stretching, mental centring and focused breathing. It is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies.
However, for this article on yoga for fertility, hormone yoga will be more useful. It was created in 1991 by Dinah Rodrigues with the help of her gynaecologist, hormone yoga is mainly for women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, PMS, a low hormone count, hyperthyroid issues or osteoporosis. Hormone Yoga is therapeutic and is based on physiology.
This therapy consists of a series of exercises specific to reactivate hormone production and consequently eliminate the symptoms of low hormones For it to be effective, you should practice hormone yoga 3 to 4 times a week for four months. These numbers can vary depending on the person and it is best to practice it with a yoga teacher who will help you estimate the best rhythm for you.
Yoga can be very beneficial to couples who need to relax to conceive stress-free. Once the doctor says you need more relaxation to aid your conception process, then immediately start your yoga journey to help reduce your stress levels.
Discover different yoga classes on Superprof.
Yoga Poses That Help You Get Pregnant
There are certain yoga poses and breathing exercises that work on the perineal area and stimulate blood flow to the reproductive organs.
As we mentioned earlier, stress plays an important role in diminishing fertility. Yoga is an excellent way to combat stress and achieve peace of mind. These poses help relax the body to destress you and aid your chances of getting pregnant.
Let us take a look below at some poses that can increase your chances of conceiving a baby.
Ocean breath (Ujjayi Pranayama)
This position is important as a starting point to yoga poses for fertility so you can have good practice. Ocean Breath concentrates and directs the breath, giving asana practice extra power and focus. It increases oxygen consumption. This breathing relaxes, helps you focus, and warms the body, which improves blood flow. Keep it throughout the session. Learn how to do the ocean breath by watching this explanatory video.
How to do the pose:
- Sit comfortably, watch your breathing, and slow it down: count 3-5 when inhaling, 3-5 when exhaling.
- Relax the diaphragm: the belly waves, the rib cage expands, the chest and shoulders relax.
- With your mouth open, begin to inhale and exhale with a whispering sound, as if you were cleaning some glasses with your breath. Then close your mouth and keep making that sound.
Crescent Moon (Anjaneyasana)
This pose increases blood flow to the reproductive organs by stretching the hip flexors, quadriceps, and lower abdomen.
How to do the pose:
- From the downward-facing dog, inhale and move forward your right leg as shown in the image.
- The back knee falls to the ground.
- While inhaling bring your arms to the vertical; If the shoulders are stressed, place your hands on the floor.
- Keep the navel inward.
- After 5 breaths, change to the other leg.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)
This posture is best done after sexual intercourse as the gravity will help the sperm join the egg and fertilize it.
How to do the pose:
- Start off lying on your side with your bolster within reach, bring your hips close to the wall.
- Bend your knees and then roll onto your back.
- Push into the wall to lift your hips and slide the bolster under your lower back.
- Take deep breaths to relax while at it
- Close your eyes and relax, progressively releasing all tensions and visualising fertilization. Hold for 10 full breaths.
The Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This posture stimulates your hormones and the flow of blood towards the uterus and ovaries.
How to do the pose:
- Lie down on your back and bend your knees, bringing your feet as close as possible to your buttocks.
- Breathe deeply, and on the exhale, lift your buttocks
- Your thighs should be almost parallel to your feet
- Place your arms at your sides for stability
- Keep the pose for three full breaths before returning to your original position
Extended triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
This yoga technique tones up and opens the body, stretches the sides, and improves digestion and menstrual problems.
How to do the pose:
- From the warrior II pose, inhale and straighten the leg.
- As you exhale, bend the trunk and raise the opposite arm.
- The lower hand can rest on the leg.
- Look up, without forcing the neck, and after 5 breaths, change sides.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
This pose helps encourage blood circulation into the female reproductive tract and makes the pelvis more flexible.
This technique opens the adductors and groin, which eliminates any constriction in the meridians that pass through this area to the reproductive organs. If you need it, put a cushion under your buttocks.
How to do the pose:
- Sit on your yoga mat and spread your legs to form an angle of about 90 °
- Flex your feet so your toes point upwards and place your hands between your legs
- Bring your hands forward until you feel a stretching sensation in your back and legs
- Hold this pose without tensing up for three full breaths, then relax.
This yoga is not only crucial for conceiving but is also useful during pregnancy. It is one of the popular poses in yoga for infertility treatment and is also known as the one-legged forward bend or the head to knee pose. It stretches the calves and the hamstrings of your body while relaxing the muscles of the abdomen.
How to do the pose:
- Sit comfortably with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Fold your left leg in, while keeping your right leg stretched out. Bend forward as much as you can and touch your right foot with your hands.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds and get back up. Fold your right leg in and stretch out your other leg to repeat the same process.
- Bend down as much as you can to touch your left foot, hold the pose and get back up again to complete a set.
Where To Get Yoga Lessons To Help You Conceive
There are several places online and offline you can get yoga lessons.
There are many free videos online that you can use to get yoga lessons. Just check for the best ones that suit you and are very explanatory. You do not want to be doing the poses the wrong way and expect to get positive results. Get a yoga specialist to help you out as a starter if you are finding it difficult t practice on your own.
If you want to go for physical classes, Yogshivir is a popular place in Ikeja, Lagos state you can check out. It is important to know that there are several yoga classes near you to take these classes. Just search online for the nearest. If you decide to opt for online lessons, then you can try YinYoga; they offer a full online yoga fertility session.
You can also check www.superprof.ng for specialised yoga teachers who can come teach you at the comfort of your home or rather take online yoga lessons with them. The amazing thing about our platform, Superprof is that 98% of our instructors offer the first lesson for free, after which you pay for the other lessons.
If you decide to do hormone yoga as home yoga sessions, make sure you consult your physician beforehand and, if you can, take at least a few yoga classes with a qualified yoga teacher so that you know how to do the asanas correctly.
A lot of fertility issues arise because of blockages. With yoga, you can improve your blood circulation, making sure your reproductive organs are properly irrigated, which can help create a positive environment for a pregnancy. Hatha Yoga is considered ideal for promoting fertility as its movements are slower and more flowing.
Congratulations in advance.
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