7.17.17
Can Meditation Increase Your Odds of Fertility?

Mentally preparing to have a baby means more than just deep reading in the parenting section and shopping for cute knit onesies. The real work starts within. 

Meditation and mindfulness are scientifically proven to naturally increase the odds of fertilityExpectful has tech-ified the concept and provides guided meditation specifically designed for those who are trying to conceive, are recently preggers, or new to the motherhood journey.

We asked the zen masters at Expectful to give us a glimpse into the real-life magic of using meditation for fertility. Read on and be fascinated…

increase youR chance of conception

During fertility treatment, it has been shown that individuals who are better able to ‘let go,’ by being less emotionally invested, have greater pregnancy success [1]. Further, one study of meditators showed they had a significantly better response to stress compared with non-meditators [2]. Therefore, meditation may help to increase conception by helping individuals to better cope with their emotions and stress levels.

reduce stress

In women, elevated levels of stress hormones have a negative effect on both uterine and ovarian functioning, which can impact fertility [3]. Higher levels of stress have been associated with lower likelihood of conception [4]. Meditation has been shown to help significantly reduce stress levels [5].

Balance your hormones

Hormone imbalance can contribute to infertility [6]. Given that stress has been shown to contribute to impaired hormonal functioning [7] and that meditators have a better hormonal response to stress [8], meditation may help to better optimize hormonal functioning.

improve your relationship with your partner

Research has found that among couples, greater stress with infertility is associated with more emotional distress and lower marital satisfaction [9]. Further, a study by Boivin and Schmidt [10] found the following: “People who reported that fertility problems had disrupted their lives, were difficult to cope with, and/or had caused much stress on their physical and mental health were less likely to have conceived in the subsequent 12 months of treatment.” Practicing mindfulness has also been shown to be associated with enhanced emotional regulation, compassion and self-kindness [11].

Support continuing fertility treatments

When comparing rates of delivery during IVF treatment, a recent study of over 150,000 women found that 29.5% of women gave birth after one IVF cycle compared to 65.3% of women who gave birth after six cycles, highlighting that pregnancy success increases after subsequent IVF cycles. However, researchers have found stress to be the main factor responsible for stopping infertility treatment [12]. A study out of the Netherlands showed that over three fourths of couples seeking fertility treatment stopped treatment not at the recommendation of their doctor but because of personal reasons, the most common of which was emotional distress [13]. The majority of couples also dropped out prior to even starting treatment. Rather surprisingly, financial reasons were the least common reason for patient dropout, although this may be affected by whether IVF treatment is covered by insurance. Meditation may help couples better cope with the stress associated with fertility treatment, allowing them to maximize their likelihood of achieving pregnancy through continued treatment.

References:

[1] Rapoport-Hubschman, N., Gidron, Y., Reicher-Atir, R., Sapir, O., & Fisch, B. (2009). “Letting go” coping is associated with successful IVF treatment outcome. Fertility and sterility, 92(4), 1384-1388.

[2] Infante, J. R., Torres-Avisbal, M., Pinel, P., Vallejo, J. A., Peran, F., Gonzalez, F., … & Roldan, A. (2001). Catecholamine levels in practitioners of the transcendental meditation technique. Physiology & behavior, 72(1), 141-146.

[3] Whirledge, S., & Cidlowski, J. A. (2010). Glucocorticoids, stress, and fertility. Minerva endocrinologica, 35(2), 109.

[4] Buck Louis, G. M., Lum, K. J., Sundaram, R., Chen, Z., Kim, S., Lynch, C. D., … & Pyper, C. (2011). Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation. Fertility and sterility, 95(7), 2184-2189.

[5] Sriboonpimsuay, W., Promthet, S., Thinkhamrop, J., & Krisanaprakornki, T. (2011). Meditation for preterm birth prevention: a randomized controlled trial in Udonthani, Thailand. International Journal of Public Health Research, 1(1), 31-39.

[6] Olotto, W. E., Amballi, A.A., & Banjo, T.A. (2012). A review of Female Infertility; important etiological factors and management. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology Research, 2(3), 379-385.

[7] Whirledge, S., & Cidlowski, J. A. (2010). Glucocorticoids, stress, and fertility. Minerva endocrinologica, 35(2), 109.

[8] Infante, J. R., Torres-Avisbal, M., Pinel, P., Vallejo, J. A., Peran, F., Gonzalez, F., … & Roldan, A. (2001). Catecholamine levels in practitioners of the transcendental meditation technique. Physiology & behavior, 72(1), 141-146.

[9] Gana, K., & Jakubowska, S. (2016). Relationship between infertility-related stress and emotional distress and marital satisfaction. Journal of health psychology, 21(6), 1043-1054.

[10] Boivin, J., & Schmidt, L. (2005). Infertility-related stress in men and women predicts treatment outcome 1 year later. Fertility and sterility, 83(6), 1745-1752.

[11] Marchand, W. R. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 18(4), 233-252.

[12] Jain, K. (2014). Reducing dropout rates in ART: A need of hour. Fertility Science Research, 1(1), 2-4.

[13] Brandes, M., Van Der Steen, J. O. M., Bokdam, S. B., Hamilton, C. J. C. M., De Bruin, J. P., Nelen, W. L. D. M., & Kremer, J. A. M. (2009). When and why do subfertile couples discontinue their fertility care? A longitudinal cohort study in a secondary care subfertility population. Human Reproduction, 24(12), 3127-3135.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 


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Leave A Comment

  1. I think meditation is very helpful in regulating the mind and can relieve tension. But physical exercise is also important and requires proper practice every day to improve fertility. Elliptical machines are a good choice if you want to keep your body in top shape.

  2. So true, meditation is an amazing tool to help with pregnancy.

  3. Great blog thanks for sharing!



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