The psychological impact of infertility can cause significant stress for the individual and the relationship. Anxiety, depression, and dysthymia can be common (up to 40% in some studies) in women awaiting IVF.
A new Feb 2015 study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online has found that six weeks of Hatha yoga, which uses a set of physical postures and poses (asanas), helped improve anxiety, depression, and quality of life for women awaiting in vitro fertilization (IVF). In addition, mindfulness skills can reduce self-judgment and feelings of shame in women coping with infertility. A 10-week mindfulness course helped reduce feelings of being defeated, trapped or ashamed.
Both yoga and mindfulness can be powerful tools to help women who are dealing with infertility and considering IVF treatment.
Chan, C.H., Chan, C.L., Ng, S.M., Ng, E.H., Ho, P.C. Body-mind-spirit intervention for IVF women. J. Assist. Reprod. Genet. 2005;22:419–427.
Chen, T.H., Chang, S.P., Tsai, C.F., Juang, K.D. Prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders in an assisted reproductive technique clinic. Hum. Reprod. 2004;19:2313–2318.
Cousineau, T.M., Domar, A.D. Psychological impact of infertility. Best Prac. Res. Clin. Obstet. Gynaecol. 2007;21:293–308.
Galhardo, A., Cunha, M., Pinto-Gouveia, J. Mindfulness-based workshop for infertility: efficacy study. Fertil. Steril. 2013;100:1059–1067.
Oron G, Allnutt E, Lackman T, Sokal-Arnon T, Holzer H, Takefman J. A prospective study using Hatha Yoga for stress reduction among women waiting for IVF treatment. Reprod Biomed Online. 2015 Feb 3.