A conversation came up in the clinic recently regarding male factor infertility and what type of exercises can be beneficial to sperm health. Most people are probably familiar with the idea that regular exercise is good for overall health and stress management, but what types of exercises are optimal for sperm health?
Immediately I began to think about how a regular yoga practice can contribute to overall health and aid in improving sperm parameters. It seems logical from my own point of view. The integration of movement and breathing can help calm the nervous system and decrease stress. Depending on the type of yoga you are doing, you can really get the heart pumping and increase the circulation through the entire body. For anyone who has experienced a vinyasa flow class, I am sure you will know what I am talking about.
Research on Yoga & Male Reproductive Health
But what does the research say? Is yoga beneficial to incorporate into your wellness routine to help optimize male fertility?
A 2013 review of studies and literature suggests that practicing yoga has an effect on the neuroendocrine axis and can have beneficial changes in the practitioners. Stress and anxiety can have an impact on fertility and yoga is very effective at reducing stress. Stress hormones like cortisol can impair reproductive function, so it is important to manage mental and physical stress that a person is exposed to.
Included in the same review was information about a study done in 2000 where fertility patients practiced relaxation techniques such as yoga and 55% of these patients had a baby within 1 year. This review suggests that yoga has an effect to decrease the stress response within the body and improve circulation.
“it is fair to conclude that yoga can be beneficial in the prevention of infertility and improve male reproductive health.”
Overall the researchers suggest that according to the review of the literature, “it is fair to conclude that yoga can be beneficial in the prevention of infertility and improve male reproductive health.”
So if you are looking for ways to decrease stress as well as giving your fertility a boost, you may want to opt for that yoga class your partner has been wanting you to try!
If you have any questions about how we can support your reproductive health with a treatment plan including yoga, acupuncture and lifestyle modifications, contact us today for a free 15-minute online consultation.
Image: IG @yoga_inder_india