Mindfulness and meditation are becoming more popular as a wellness trend. It is beneficial for a variety of reasons, and fertility is not an exception to this.
A new research paper published in early January 2020 looked at the role of mindfulness and meditation among fertility patients. The research found that the patients who engaged in a mindfulness practice reported less anxiety and less depression while working through their fertility journey. Most interestingly, patients who engaged in a mindfulness practice actually had a higher success/pregnancy rate with fertility treatments.
A simple mindfulness technique to use is a the 4-cycle breath. This involves taking a slow and deep inhale over 4 seconds, holding the breath in for 4 seconds, slowly exhaling over 4 seconds, and then holding the breath out for 4 seconds. In total this take 16 seconds, and averages to about 4 breaths a minute. This will engage the parasympathetic nervous system and within a few minutes it will help to decrease anxiety and support mood.
There are many types of mindfulness and meditation techniques. The most important thing is consistency. So picking a technique that works for you and staying constant with it is what will help you the most in the long term.
Additional ways to help lower stress and anxiety while supporting fertility treatments are:
1. Exercise: low-to-moderate intensity exercise has been shown to support the body's total antioxidant capacity and support positive fertility outcomes
2. Fertility Acupuncture: is helpful in increasing a chemical in the brain called B-endorphins. This helps to induce relaxation and support improved outcomes with fertility treatments, such as, IVF.
3. Supplements: there are plentiful options for nutrients which can help induce relaxation and reduce stress, especially for fertility patients who are often confronted with a high-level of stress for an extended period of time.
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor.