When considering the time, definitions vary. For, instance, a couple in their twenties that has tried unsuccessfully to have a child may not worry about it over a course of one, two or three months. If they are unsuccessful for, say, six months, they may be said to be subfertile, meaning less fertile than a typical couple. Both infertility and subfertility are defined as the inability to conceive after a certain period of time (the length of which vary), so often the two terms overlap. For older couples, fertility changes so quickly that losing the extra six months could be a major concern. Instead of waiting further, they may consider consulting a doctor for diagnosis.
• Aged 34 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer
• Menstruate irregularly or not at all
• Periods are very painful
• Have been diagnosed with pelvic infiammatory disease (PID)
• Had more than one miscarriage
• Low sperm count
• A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problem
Causes Factors that can cause male as well as female infertility are: • Genetic factors: A Robertsonian translocation in either partner may cause recurrent spontaneous abortions or complete infertility. • General factors: Diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, adrenal disease • Hypothalamic-pituitary factors such as Hyperprolactinemia or Hypopituitarism • Environmental factors such as toxins (glues, volatile organic solvents or silicones, physical agents, chemical dusts, and pesticides. Tobacco smokers are 60% more likely to be infertile than non-smokers.
There are also specific female or male causes.
Yoga means “Union”, union of both the male and the female energy. Infertility could be due to various problems in the male and/or the female. Yoga can help and change a couple’s daily activities for the better.
For example, Yoga can help activate hormonal secretion. It improves and activates the abdominal and the reproductive areas. It helps reduce stress level and improve the understanding and relationship with in the partners. Yoga can be practised by the couple together, which enhances the overall health. Practice of various asanas and pranayama brings balance in both the partners.
In addition, reducing stress is the best way to improve fertility. Couples with high stress level are not fertile. Women with prolonged stress may experience a direct effect on the menstrual cycle – either stopping or irregular periods. Women with high stress level have a high risk of miscarriages.
Further, male infertility has been linked to a number of factors. Some men have low sperm counts, which reduce the chances of pregnancy. Smoking and drinking, exposure to high temperature can affect the fertility too. Improving the immune system is therefore very important for men and women.
Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
1. Sit in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose). Keep your back, neck and head in a straight line.
2. Close both palms covering your navel and press your palms against the abdomen.
3. Inhale, raise your chin upwards and exhale, bend forwards, trying to touch your forehead to the mat. In this position, your hands are pressing against the abdomen.
4. Hold this position as long as you can do it comfortably or for about 10 to 30 seconds. This stimulates the abdominal organs and the reproductive glands.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Lord of the Fishes Pose)
1. Sit with legs straight in front. Bend the left knee and cross right leg over the left shin.
2. Raise your left hand, bend the elbow and press onto the right thigh.
3. Keep the right hand on the floor. Raise your sternum up straight and keep the shoulders level.
4. Squeeze and focus on the abdomen and stay for 20 to 30seconds. This pose massages the abdominal organs and improves the flexibility of the spine.
Ashwini Mudra (Gesture of the horse)
The word Ashwini means “Horse”. The practice is so-called because the anal contraction resembles the movement a horse makes with its sphincter immediately after evacuation of the bowels. This is an effective method of improving the muscular contractions in the pelvic floor.
1. Contract and relax the buttock muscles, sphincter, perineum, and the entire pelvic region. Contract the sphincter muscles of the anus for a few seconds without straining, then relax them for a few seconds.
2. Repeat the same action to the anal area.
3. Repeat the practice for as long as possible.
4. Contraction and relaxation should be performed smoothly and rhythmically. Gradually make the contractions more rapid.
Ashwini Mudra in Salamba Sarvangasana (Horse Gesture in Shoulderstand)
1. Lie flat on your back. Keep the legs stretched straight.
2. Inhale, bend your knees, pressing the palms on the floor, raise the hip up to the ceiling. 3. When the whole truck is raised off the ground, bend the elbows and place the palm on the lower back. The weight of the body is on the palm, elbow and the upper arm.
4. Press the soles of the feet together, bending the knees sideways, and bring the heels closer to the perineum.
5. Now perform Ashwini Mudra. Stay there for about 1 to 3 minutes, while repeating the mudra.
6. Keep your legs straight and relax or you can slightly bend the knees. Stay for about 2-5 minutes with normal breaths.
This calms the mind and improves the proper circulation of the blood flow and the prana to the entire body and the pelvic floor. It activates the thyroid glands and brings hormonal balance.
Ashwini Mudra in Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand)
1. Kneel down on a sticky mat. Keep the forearms shoulder width apart, interlock your fingers together on the floor with the palms in a cup shape.
2. Rest the crown of the head on the mat and the back of the head touches the palms. Now raise the knee and hip.
3. Exhale raise one leg up followed by the other. You can do this closer to a wall in the beginning, with the help of a teacher.
4. Stretch the legs and stand on the head, keeping the whole body perpendicular to the floor. 5. Now perform Ashwini Mudra. Stay there for about 1 to 3 minutes, while repeating the mudra.
6. Stay for 2-5 minutes and then come out of the pose.
This makes your mind calm and improves circulation to the upper body.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
1. Lie down on your stomach. Exhale bend the knees, stretch your arms back and hold your ankles.
2. Exhale and pull the legs and the knees up while lifting the chest up simultaneously. Stay for five breaths, pressing the abdominal organs on the floor.
3. Rock backwards by looking upwards and pulling the legs backwards. Rock forward by looking downwards and pulling the leg upwards.
4. Similarly roll over to the right side and the left side.
5. Repeat this about 10 times and rest.
This improves the vitality and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Pawanmuktasana (Wind Releasing Pose)
1. Lie on your back with your legs stretched forward.
2. Inhale and raise the legs up towards the ceiling.
3. Bend both legs at the knees and rest the thighs against the abdomen, keeping the knees and ankles together.
4. Join both arms and hug the knees, hands clasping opposite elbows.
5. Bend the neck and place the chin between the knees.
Stay in the pose for 30 seconds and release. The abdominal muscles are tensed and the internal organs are compressed which increase the blood circulation and stimulate the internal organs.
Yoga is beneficial in both pre and post pregnancy stages. It builds the immune system and relives stress. Inverted and abdominal posture can improve circulation to the pelvic floor and the abdominal organs. Overall, Yoga improves the quality of life, particularly the relationship.