Is Stress Making Me Infertile?
A significant amount of research has shown a link between stress and fertility. Studies have found that women dealing with infertility experience the same psychological toll as women who have had a heart attack or a cancer diagnosis. On the same note, there is an established link between excess stress and difficulty getting pregnant. Here’s what women should know about meditation and boosting conception.
What is meditation?
The exact definition of meditation can vary, based on where people look for answers. In general, meditation is a practice of focusing the attention on one particular object or thought to promote awareness and calm. For many, the method can be a tool to cope with distress or anxiety. Meditation can also be used as a supplemental therapy for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Can it help me get pregnant?
Researchers don’t know precisely why meditation helps improve the chances of getting pregnant. But there is no doubt that meditation, along with mindfulness practices like yoga, can have an impact. Both exercises help women to work on fostering a connection between mind and body awareness. Both have also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Research has even shown that yoga can be as helpful for depression and anxiety as taking antidepressants.
Meditation can do more than boost fertility. Regular meditation practice can help with irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, and cognitive decline. People can practice meditation for just 5-10 minutes daily and still see results.
How can I get started?
There are a variety of apps and online tools to help beginners get started with meditating. Start by sitting in a comfortable position on a cushion or chair. People can practice with or without music. Set a timer for 5 minutes to start. Close the eyes and breathe normally. As the mind wanders, gently bring attention back to the breath. Try not to judge the process and refocus attention when distractions arise. Some people prefer guided meditations, where a leader narrates a visualization exercise or provides instruction.
What else should I try?
Improving fertility requires a multi-pronged approach. Besides reducing stress, women should exercise regularly, eat a nutritious diet, and get enough sleep. There have also been links between some alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or massage, and increased chances of conception. Women struggling to get pregnant should consult with a fertility specialist to find out more about treatment options.