Pregnancy journey is different for every woman. Some women find it easy to conceive while some women's journey is stippled with obstacles along the way. A new study gives the road to pregnancy a few twists. Researchers found that less than an hour of weekly yoga can increase a woman's chance to become pregnant.
Experts from the United States (U.S.) conducted one of the biggest controlled studies of yoga by far. Past studies have exposed that stress lowers a couple's chances of getting pregnant and that stress-reducing activities have helped many couples conceive. A new American study found that six weeks of yoga have dramatic stress reduction effects on women, increasing their chances for pregnancy.
Researchers from the Rush University Medical Centre and Fertility Center of Illinois studied 103 in vitro fertilization (IVF) women in a span of six weeks. Fifty-four women were advised to join the 45-minute yoga (Vinyasa Style) sessions for the duration of the study. The second group consisting of 49 women was advised to go on with their usual daily habits.
Researchers found that women in the yoga group were able to lower their stress levels by 20 percent, while women in the control group were only able to lower it down to 2 percent.
"We have shown a decrease in anxiety of patients that utilized the yoga program. This is particularly exciting given that others have shown a statistical increase in anxiety for infertility patients undergoing infertility treatment," said study lead author Dr. Jenny Hirshfeld-Cytron from the Fertility Centres of Illinois.
When it comes to infertility treatments in the U.S., cost remains the top reason for couples to stop getting treated. The second reason is emotional distress. Researchers believe that yoga can ease stress and keep couples in treatment, added Hirshfeld-Cytron.
When matched with other types of exercise, yoga can also help reduce the body mass index (BMI). Losing weight has also been proven to help women, particularly those diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), conceive.
Dr. Stuart Lavery from Imperial College London expressed that IVF is a worrying situation and that experts should earnestly consider ways on how to reduce such stress. Lavery added that anything that enables IVF patients to cope 'can only be good'.
The study was published in the Fertility and Sterility journal on Oct. 21, 2015.