For a woman, no other experience can be as delightful as the experience of motherhood. But getting blessed by that ‘little bundle of joy’ may not be easy for everyone. With changing priorities accompanied by a whirlwind lifestyle, the number of women suffering from fertility issues is rising steadily. The modern stressful life leaves them with no other choice other than to seek counseling and treatment for infertility. Here comes the importance of embracing the curative practice of yoga. Whether you are facing difficulty conceiving or want to ensure trouble-free inception of pregnancy, the relaxing activity of yoga can be the best solution for you. So, check out below the most effective yoga poses to enhance fertility while maintaining your overall health.
What Causes Fertility Issues in Women?
Female infertility is triggered by any factor that interferes with the biological process of conception (includes phases like ovulation, fertilization, and implantation, respectively). Unfortunately, when it comes to conceiving and carrying a child to term, almost 12.1% of American women in the age group of 15-44 years face certain kinds of difficulty (1), and nearly 12% of them even use infertility services. So, what are the risk factors you should be aware of? Well, they are given below:
- Aging (fertility decreases with increasing age) (2)
- The habit of smoking cigarettes
- Too much consumption of alcohol
- Poor weight management (being overweight or underweight)
- Specific medical conditions (PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal imbalances, pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, premature ovarian failure, surgical scars, SITs, or sexually transmitted infections, etc.)
- Long-term usage of certain medications and drugs (NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, recreational drugs, antipsychotic medications, chemotherapy or radiation therapy drugs, etc.)
Men can also suffer from infertility caused by ineffective sperm production, low sperm count, poor sperm morphology, low sperm motility, and so on. Almost 9% of American men of reproductive age experience fertility issues, which contributes to about one-third of infertility cases in the country.
How Does Yoga Promote Fertility?
The power of yoga for boosting our overall health is relatively well-known. Similarly, the positive relationship between it and fertility health has also been proven and supported by science (3). Given below are the rewards of yoga practice that you can reap for improving your fertility rate as well as chances of conceiving:
- Helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression, mood swing, and physical tension by enhancing the immune system’s functionality (4). In addition, this is known to significantly impact fertility rates (5), (6).
- Eases the body into a more regular movement for increased strength and flexibility. As a result, we get rid of extra bodyweight that may come on the way to raising a family (7).
- Improves the hormonal balance by controlling stress levels, which is linked to increased libido and better reproductive activity (8).
- Boosts blood flow to the reproductive organs (uterus and ovaries), thereby stimulating them to function more effectively.
- Detoxifies the body to purify the energy channels, which also helps in balancing metabolism and lowering inflammation for enhanced fertility.
- Nourishes emotional and mental health by working as a ‘practical and positive self-care tool.’ This makes the struggle of conception easier than ever.
- Increases the chances of pregnancy in women who are undergoing IVF or trying other assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Also Read – 7 Yoga Asanas to Lose Weight Quickly
7 Most Effective Yoga Poses to Enhance Fertility
Fertility yoga involves sequences of gentle postures performed at varying paces and levels of intensity. Rather than vigorous types of yoga (hot yoga, ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga), your focus should be on the relaxing ones (hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, yin yoga, etc.) that can prep your body for conception without causing damage to it. Check out below the most effective yoga poses to enhance fertility: (9)
1. Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
This simple posture has an excellent impact on our hormonal balance. It also plays a crucial role in propelling energy (‘prana’) to the pelvic area, which improves fertility.
- Sit straight on the floor by keeping your legs crossed. The backside of your arms should be placed on the knees.
- Either stretch out your palms or create a circular shape by touching the tips of your index fingers with those of your thumbs.
- Breathe in, breathe out. Continue for 5 minutes to complete one rep.
2. Butterfly Pose (Bhadrasana)
You should concentrate on the blood flow in your pelvic region while practicing this asana, as it will relax your pelvic muscles and enhance your fertility.
- Sit on the floor by keeping your spine straight.
- Stretch out your legs in such a way that your feet touch each other.
- Pull your legs towards your body gradually. Make sure that your back is straight and your feet are in contact with one another during this step.
- Place your hands on your feet, keep your eyes closed and start breathing in deeply.
- Continue for 5 minutes and relax.
3. Pelvic Lift Pose (Vasti Udayana)
This move boosts blood circulation throughout the pelvic region, makes the pelvic muscles stronger, and helps them relax. All these cumulatively improve fertility rates.
- Start with lying on your back right on the ground.
- Keep your arms at both sides of your body while your legs should be rested on the floor.
- Extend your neck a bit and take a deep breath simultaneously.
- When exhaling, lift your pelvis as high as possible slowly and steadily. It should face the ceiling, and you need to hold the position for some time.
- Inhale slowly and deeply, at least thrice.
- Start lowering your pelvis gradually and get back to the initial position.
4. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
It helps in opening up as well as expanding the pelvic region. The posture also keeps the hips healthy by making the lower abdomen tension-free and strengthening the glutes.
- Lie on your back on the ground by keeping your feet flat, a little apart, on it with your knees bent. Your arms should be on your side with the palms facing up.
- Draw your feet towards your body in such a manner that they remain very close to your backside.
- Exhale and lift your pelvis by pressing your lower back to the floor and curling your tailbone. Make sure that your thighs and feet are maintained at a specific distance during this step.
- Also, move your arms together and place them behind your back.
- Hold the position for some time as you breathe in and breathe out.
- Return to the starting position gradually and relax.
5. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The best thing about this posture is that it offers comprehensive fertility benefits by balancing reproductive hormones, boosting blood supply to the reproductive organs, and facilitating implantation by stimulating cervical mucus production.
- Lie face down on the floor by keeping your feet hip-width apart. Your hands should also be held adjacent to your body.
- Place your palms by your ribs and press them against the floor while lifting your head and chest upwards. Make sure that you roll your shoulders down during the process.
- Fix your gaze upwards and hold the position.
- Slowly return to the previous position and relax.
6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Nothing can be better than this pose when it comes to releasing the negative energy accumulated in the hip region. It also prepares women for fertilization by building strength in the abdominals, hips, and thighs.
- Stand straight on the floor with your feet 3-4 feet apart and the base of your big toes touching.
- As you exhale, step out with your left foot while extending your arms parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.
- Turn the extended foot 90 degrees to the left with the right foot slightly inward at a 45-degree angle. Your heels must be aligned with each other at this time.
- Bend your left knee, press your right heel into the floor, and keep your torso neutral with your gaze straight ahead.
- Keep your arms strong while stretching them away from the shoulder blades.
- Breathe in and hold the position for the next 30 seconds.
- Relax and repeat on the other side.
7. Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
Being an inversion pose, it boosts the flow of blood to the heart and the hips. Moreover, it is highly effective in relieving stress and anxiety by regulating the secretion of the thyroid gland.
- Lie down on your back with your legs extended and arms on your sides. Keep a folded blanket under your shoulders for neck support, if needed.
- Bend your lower body from your buttocks and lift your legs at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should point into the air this time.
- Slowly lift your waist as you press your palms into the floor. Next, bend your elbows to form a 90-degree angle and hold your waist with the support of your palms.
- Hold the position for a minute and then relax.
Always seek the help of a certified yoga practitioner to perform these poses rightly and safely. Otherwise, self-practice without the supervision of any pro may put you at the risk of minor to severe injury.
- “Infertility,” CDC.gov
- “How Common is Infertility?”, NICHD.nih.gov
- “Impact of Group Psychological Interventions on Pregnancy Rates in Infertile Women,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Impact of a Structured Yoga Program on Anxiety in Infertility Patients: A Feasibility Study,” LongDom.org
- “The Relationship Between Stress and Infertility,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Addressing the Needs of Fertility Treatment Patients and Their Partners: Are They Informed of and Do They Receive Mental Health Services?”, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Weight, Fertility, and Pregnancy Health,” BetterHealth.vic.gov.au
- “Challenge of Infertility: How Protective the Yoga Therapy is?”, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov