Your health and the health of your growing baby are the most important things while you’re pregnant. Despite all of the changes to your body, both mentally and physically, you want to be at your healthiest in order to provide the best environment and start for your baby. To help cope with the physical changes of pregnancy, consider meditation. Meditation has been proven to positively impact both your mind and body during pregnancy.
Your mind and imagination has direct influence over your fertility because the mind and body are one system. The good news about this is that you can utilize this fact to help you not only feel more in control but to improve your chances of success whether through natural conception or with fertility treatment such as IVF.
Low progesterone levels early in the menstrual cycle have been linked to an increased susceptibility to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) according to research presented at the 26th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress held in Barcelona, Spain on October 7, 2013. Professor Inger Sundstrom Poromaa presented her findings on the study involving 29 women, 15 of the women had been previously diagnosed with PMDD and 14 women were control subjects. Results of the study suggested brain activity throughout the menstrual cycle is different between healthy controls and women with PMDD, which indicates hormone fluctuations are important to those with PMDD.
a guest blog by Alice Domar, Ph.D., Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF, June 19, 2013
I was asked last week to contribute a brief videotaped interview for Fertility Authority on the topic of my choice and for guidance on the format, was sent a link to the one I did several years ago on acupuncture. The only comment on that interview was highly negative, by Ray Rubio, an acupuncturist in California*. Ray and I have had discussions in the past on how to responsibly portray what the research in the field has shown, so I wasn’t all that surprised that he was critical of me, but I do wish he would have provided the correct facts. I am indeed a psychologist and have absolutely no training in acupuncture, but I am an established researcher and an associate professor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. I am the first author of one of the largest studies to date on the impact of pre and post-embryo transfer acupuncture on IVF outcome. Unlike the study he cited in his comment, our study was a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard in research, and was also published in Fertility and Sterility in 2009.
Studies actually show women who are experiencing problems getting pregnant have similar levels of depression and anxiety as those suffering with life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart disease. This makes sense to us because infertility impacts every facet of ones life, similar to life-threatening diseases.
An international team of scientists led by Gregg Adams at the University of Saskatchewan has discovered that a protein in semen acts on the female brain to prompt ovulation, and is the same molecule that regulates the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells.
Male mammals have accessory sex glands that contribute seminal fluid to semen, but the role of this fluid and the glands that produce it are not well understood.
The ancient practice of acupuncture might help some women who are undergoing fertility treatment to get pregnant. Acupuncture has become more popular in the United States in recent years. According to a new study, it might improve women's chances of success with in-vitro fertilization.
Brooke Akin underwent three rounds of artificial insemination at $3,000 a pop. She took fertility drugs that made her feel moody. Yet, after three and a half years of trying, she still wasn’t pregnant. Akin, 29, of Hermitage, says her doctor recommended that she undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), which costs roughly $15,000. But after some initial skepticism, Akin decided to put modern medicine aside and try the ancient practice of acupuncture. She was pregnant after three months.
The relationship between stress and fertility is a controversial one, according to Alice Domar, Ph.D., Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF.
But even though a recent meta-analysis of 14 studies, published in February’s British Medical Journal, did not observe a significant relationship between distress levels and outcome, Domar says there is a large body of research —including her own most recent study published in Fertility and Sterility — that has found relationships between distress levels and the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF).