Trying to get pregnant is no easy feat — and for women struggling with fertility, the process can come with a side of stress, anxiety or just feeling like a failure. Yet two recent studies have found that a yoga practice might help women cope. Before you roll your eyes and write this off as another hokey study, take a look at the research: One study, conducted in India, took a closer look at the impact of yoga on women who had undergone one unsuccessful round of IVF treatment. Over 100 women preparing for a frozen embryo transfer were randomly selected into one of two groups: one group didn't practice yoga, while the other group did three months of yoga asanas (exercises) and pranayma (breathing exercises). After the procedures, researchers found that 63 percent of women who practiced yoga became pregnant, while 43 percent of women in the control group (who did not do yoga) became pregnant.
A new study of fertility and diet Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School have just published a review of past studies that examined the impact of diet on fertility. Here’s what they found. For women trying to become pregnant naturally (without “assistive reproductive technologies” such as in vitro fertilization), the following vitamins and nutrients were linked to positive effects on fertility: folic acid vitamin B12 omega-3 fatty acids healthy diets (such as the Mediterranean diet) On the other hand, antioxidants, vitamin D, dairy products, soy, caffeine, and alcohol appeared to have little or no effect on fertility in this review. Trans fat and “unhealthy diets” (those “rich in red and processed meats, potatoes, sweets, and sweetened beverages”) were found to have negative effects. Studies of men have found that semen quality improves with healthy diets (as described above), while the opposite has been linked with diets high in saturated or trans fat. Alcohol and caffeine appeared to have little effect, good or bad. Importantly, semen quality is not a perfect predictor of fertility, and most studies did not actually examine the impact of paternal diet on the rate of successful pregnancies. For couples receiving assisted reproductive technologies, women may be more likely to conceive with folic acid supplements or a diet high in isoflavones (plant-based estrogens with antioxidant activity), while male fertility may be aided by antioxidants.
Just 45 minutes of yoga a week could help women relax and increase their chance of having a baby, scientists have suggested. In one of the largest controlled yoga studies to date, US experts found that just six weeks of the ancient practice dramatically lowered anxiety levels for women. Many studies have shown previously that staying relaxed helps couples to conceive while,stress can harm chances of getting pregnant.
Sleeve Gastrectomy for Obesity in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: a Pilot Study Evaluating Weight Loss and Fertility Outcomes
William Beaumont Army Medical Center
PURPOSE: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder associated with obesity and infertility. Gastric bypass has been shown to be effective in treating these symptoms. However, the efficacy of vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) has not been studied in the PCOS population. This study analyzed weight loss and fertility outcomes of VSG in this population.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Fertilityblend: a nutritional supplement for improving fertility in women.
Department of Gynecology/Obstetrics, Stanford University School of Medicine
PURPOSE: To determine the impact of nutritional supplementation on female fertility. METHODS: A double blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of FertilityBlend for Women, a proprietary nutritional supplement containing chasteberry, green tea, L-arginine, vitamins (including folate) and minerals, on progesterone level, basal body temperature, menstrual cycle length, pregnancy rate and side-effects. RESULTS: Ninety-three (93) women, aged 24-42 years, who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for six to 36 months, completed the study. After three months, the FertilityBlend (FB) group (N = 53) demonstrated a trend toward increased mean mid-luteal progesterone (P(ml)), but among women with basal pretreatment P(ml) < 9 ng/ml, the increase in progesterone was highly significant. The average number of days with luteal-phase basal temperatures over 98 degrees F increased significantly in the FB group. Both short and long cycles (< 27 days or > 32 days pretreatment) were normalized in the FB group. The placebo group (N = 40) did not show any significant changes in these parameters. After three months, 14 of the 53 women in the FB group were pregnant (26%) compared to four of the 40 women in the placebo group (10%; p = 0.01). Three additional women conceived after six months on FB (32%). No significant side-effects were noted. CONCLUSION: Nutritional supplements could provide an alternative or adjunct to conventional fertility therapies.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but do put some in a deep freeze - it’s the newest conundrum facing women. Freezing eggs is one of the hottest topics among women who are in the prime of their fertility, but aren’t sure that “now” is the right time for motherhood. By freezing eggs, women can take at least part of the pressure off of pursuing a career, navigating an illness or finding the right partner before starting a family. Major corporations like Apple and Facebook are now willing to cover the costs of egg freezing for female employees, and fertility specialists throughout the country are heralding the move as a supportive one for women.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Fertility can be negatively affected by obesity. In women, early onset of obesity favours the development of menses irregularities, chronic oligo-anovulation and infertility in the adult age. Obesity in women can also increase risk of miscarriages and impair the outcomes of assisted reproductive technologies and pregnancy, when the body mass index exceeds 30 kg/m. The main factors implicated in the association may be insulin excess and insulin resistance. These adverse effects of obesity are specifically evident in polycystic ovary syndrome. In men, obesity is associated with low testosterone levels. In massively obese individuals, reduced spermatogenesis associated with severe hypotestosteronemia may favour infertility. Moreover, the frequency of erectile dysfunction increases with increasing body mass index.