A Harvard study once showed that women who undertook a Mind Body Program had a 52% chance of conceiving over a 20% chance in the control group – the women who undertook a mind body fertility program had more than DOUBLE the chance of conceiving and took their chances of conceiving from a 1 in 5 rate to a 1 in 2 rate.
Here’s a little excerpt of the study and its reference:
Domar et al (2011) Impact of a group mind/body intervention on pregnancy rates in IVF patients, Fertility and Sterility
The negative effect of stress in reproductive health is generally accepted as occurring through increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity . The distress-conception relationship is complicated. Numerous studies have shown that distress is associated with lower IVF success rates. In this study, women who were about to begin their first IVF cycle underwent a 10 week mind body program or a control group and were monitored over two IVF cycles. Pregnancy rates for cycle two were 52% for the mind body group and only 20% for the control group.
How exactly does a Mind Body Fertility Program help improve chances of conception – that’s what we’re breaking down in today’s episode: into 7 ways a Mind Body Program can help you conceive your baby
BUT… there’s one thing I want to share with you first and that’s the added benefit of a Mind Body Program: it isn’t just a tool to help you conceive – it’s a tool to help you FEEL BETTER – to manage your stress levels and reclaim your happiness – (something that I can’t say is true for fertility clinics). But…. when combined with help from your Fertility Specialist can be the game changer and secret weapon to optimizing IUI and IVF success rates.
What is a Mind Body Program?
A mind body practice focuses on the interactions between the brain, body, mind and behaviour. They’re there to help you understand the inter-connectedness of your body and manage your response to stressors, particularly emotional stressors in your life so that you can then influence how your body is responding physiologically. This may involve using physical movement and actions or mind techniques to bring bodies back into a relaxed or parasympathetic state.
So how exactly does a Mind Body Program improve your fertility?
1. It balances your hormones more optimally.
The majority of our hormones are created or flow down from our Hypothalamus (and then often from our pituitary gland) in response to our nervous system and whether our sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Think of this as the control centre of your brain that is sending various signals around your body. The trouble is that when our sympathetic nervous system is activated, it isn’t prioritizing or sending hormones to our reproductive organs and when our bodies are prioritising cortisol production – it does this at the expense of our other hormones. If our bodies have a choice between cortisol or something else – they always choose cortisol. So… when we can improve that process – we can more optimally balance our hormone production.
2. They help you make better decisions
When our bodies are existing too much in our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) they get stuck in our limbic system – the emotional centre of our brain, and our Pre-Frontal Cortex shuts down – our Pre-frontal cortex is the part of our body that is responsible for decision making, problem solving, rational thinking and impulse control…. When we can bring ourselves back into that area, we are more readily able to assess and make decisions based on our best interests.
3. They reduce self sabotaging behaviours
When you are existing in an overly stressed state – it can impact your self confidence, self talk, motivation and adaptive ability, resulting in self sabotage – that could be from eating an overly restrictive diet to oversupplementing, to eating a non-nutritious diet. When we can change the way our brains perceive and react to certain situations and our perception of the events as they are, it makes it far more achievable to not just make rational decisions, but to follow through with our plans.
4. Improves Sleep
A lack of sleep can wreck havoc with our hormones, and also affect other areas of our lives. Studies have shown that our sleep affects things such as how much we cry at night, our appetite hormones (a lack of sleep has been shown to result in cravings for more processed and energy dense foods), our immune system and also our reproductive hormones. A mind body Fertility Program can help you implement practices and strategies to help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep throughout the night (I commonly see women who wake at 3am and cannot get back to sleep – which is often caused by cortisol and melatonin being out of balance)
5. It can help us rewire our Dominant Neural Pathways
Our brain sends messages through neural pathways but it can often have dominant neutral pathways (think of this like a path through a forest – the well worn path is the path our brain wants to take) that signal our amygdala to overreact and trigger our fight or flight system, resulting in us feeling like it takes less and less for us to feel triggered and highly emotional.
6. Better self advocacy
A Mind Body Program centres on practices and mind techniques that can help us not only think more rationally, btu also improve our self confidence and those two things combined can lead to us feeling more confident in trusting our intuition and following through with changes that are in our best interest, resulting in better fertility rates.
7.PHYSICAL tools to help us manage stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life and something that will continue to affect us through different challenges in our lives, and one of the big benefits of a Mind Body Program is that it can not only teach you how to be less reactive to stress, but provide you with tools to help bring back homeostasis (balance) if you do trigger your fight or flight response. One of the core problems we experience in today’s society is not just that we experience stress, but that there is no firm end to it – unlike in early human days when, for example, if we were running away from a tiger and got away – there was a clear and to the threat and signal to our bodies that we could begin to repair. A Mind Body Program can help us learn tools to cope with stress and physically calm our bodies.
I’m beyond excited to welcome you to the Mind Body Fertility Reset, our membership for women who want to conquer stress and fuel their fertility – based on the 3 pillars of fertility success:
- Emotional Wellbeing Strategies with in-depth courses and trainings
- Live coaching and support
- An active and supportive community
This is the best value and investment you can make on your fertility journey.
Learn more at www.robynbirkin.com/mindbodyfertilityreset