Monday, February 16, 2015

How Meditation Helps Infertile Couples

For any couple that is attempting to cope with fertility-related stress, meditation is a definite gift.  It is a very simple yet effective practice that can help in changing the hue of the fertility journey from a mottled one to one that is more calm and positive. Dr Alice Domar, Director for- Mind-Body Center for Women is a world-renowned proponent of mind-body techniques such as meditation. She says that meditation calms down the patient and reduces his/her stress; which may well be the one thing that is keeping you from conceiving.

The Feel Good Factor

The relaxation response that meditation brings about in a person releases feel-good endorphins & turns-off stress hormones. Numerous studies have been conducted around this premise and there are a number of effects of meditation including:

•    Increased sense of calmness
•    Greater control over  thoughts & the mind
•    A deeper connect with oneself
•    Enhanced ability  to cope with various stressful situations 

Easy to Learn

Meditation is not too difficult to learn and I routinely suggest to my patients that they practice it in some form.  It involves focusing your thoughts and mind in such a fashion that it helps you contemplate, reflect and quiets your mind. Do not be too ambitious with your goals at the outset; choose a simple goal such as quieting your thoughts, or controlling them and then pick a meditation form that you feel will work for you. You have the option to go to a yoga teacher who will teach you the basics and techniques of meditation.

The Study

For those who are wondering whether there really is any evidence to prove that meditation helps infertile couples, read on. In 2000 Dr Alice Domar published results of her study in Fertility & Sterility. It showed that women who had participated in the program (that included relaxation & yoga) were almost 3 times more-likely to conceive compared to women who didn’t. In the 10-week long mind-body workshop that Dr Domar conducted, 184 women who had been struggling with infertility & attempting to get pregnant for 1-2 years were all put into a cognitive-behavioral group.

De-Stressing with Meditation

This particular group received various methods for nutrition, emotional expression, & exercise information. Very importantly, they received relaxation training which included meditation, yoga, muscle relaxation & imagery. The group also learned how to identify their recurrent negative thoughts (eg- I’m never going to be able to have a baby) and cognitive restructuring.

They were taught how to turn that negativity into positivity and tell themselves that they are doing everything they can to get pregnant. The results were impressive- 55% of the women from the group that was using yoga & other techniques ended up getting pregnant within one year. Contrastingly, only 20% of women from the control group conceived in that same time-frame.

Making an Impact

We cannot yet go so far as to say that meditation and yoga can  treat infertility. However , there is no doubt about the fact that complementing conventional & innovative medical intervention with the health-enhancing benefits of meditation can reduce the stress that is caused by infertility.

The minute you take away some of the stresses from your body, you automatically give it the chance to react more positively and the treatment you are undergoing has a better effect. You have waited for long to have that baby and made a lot of efforts too.  Meditation is probably something you haven’t tried and should- you may just find that it was the one thing that gives your body the impetus to do what your mind is telling it to do.

Even better, it doesn't cost anything; is simple to learn; and is a great tool to master to help you cope with the other ups and downs  which life will throw your way !

Need more information about meditation can help to improve IVF succces rates ? Get a free second opinion from Dr Malpani by filling in the Free IVF Second Opinion form.

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