Science Daily recently shared research from scientists at the University of California, Berkeley showing that chronic stress activates a hormone that reduces fertility long after the stress has ended.
According to Science Daily, “While the experiments were conducted in rats, the researchers are optimistic that blocking the gene for the hormone — called gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH) — could help women overcome the negative reproductive consequences of stress.”
One of the researchers, Daniela Kaufer, an associate professor of integrative biology, was quoted as saying, “What’s absolutely amazing is that one single gene controls this complex reproductive system, and that you can elegantly knock this gene down and change the reproductive outcome completely.”
While this study is exciting for those trying to conceive, it’s still too early to know if and when this research will be conducted in humans. However, the connection between stress and infertility has been well documented. Thus, those trying to conceive might want to look at ways to incorporate stress-reduction techniques, like yoga, into their life.
Yoga has long been associated with reducing stress. The Mayo Clinic says yoga “brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.” The idea of using yoga to help women conceive is not new.
Over seven years ago, Yoga Journal wrote an article called, Yoga, Stress & the Fertility Link. In that article, they shared the stories of women who have attended fertility yoga classes and insights from the yoga instructors.
Brenda Strong, a yoga instructor who teaches fertility yoga at UCLA’s Mind/Body Institute was quoted in that article explaining, “As they say, ‘You can’t force the river. The idea is to invite the river to flow through you.” Some women report that after they stopped struggling to get pregnant, they conceived. Others imagined parenthood in a new way—by deciding to adopt, becoming a godparent, or focusing on a creative project.”
Incorporating sun salutations into your daily life will not unravel all of the mysteries behind fertility issues. Sadly, there is no ‘magic bullet’ that quickly helps women conceive. Mind/Body techniques, however, have been proven to play a very important role in helping couples deal with fertility issues.