In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that exercise is one of the best ways to increase blood flow to the uterus. When Andrew and I began treatment for our very first IUI, I learned that my uterine lining was very thin. I was convinced that I could fix this. And I knew that I had to, since having a thin uterine lining could interfere with implantation. Before I knew it, I was spending countless amounts of time each day on my yoga mat.
And it did the trick. I did not make any other changes to my lifestyle or daily routine, but since implementing certain yoga poses into my day, I have never again had an issue with my lining being too thin. On the contrary, it’s been nice and thick!
Here are the poses that I swear by:
Legs Up the Wall Pose- Doing this yoga fertility pose will help you release the stress locked in the lower part of your back and is highly effective at increasing blood flow to the uterus. You can stay in this pose as long as you like, and you can do this pose as many times throughout the day as you like. It is very easy, and can be done anywhere there is a wall!
- Lying on your back on the floor, put your legs up the wall, scooting you behind as close to the wall as possible. Your arms, shoulders, and head should be rested on the floor.
- If you need to place something underneath your lower back for support, you may use a rolled up blanket or towel.
- Breathe deeply and relax!
Supported Bridge Pose- Whereas legs up the wall is a relaxing pose, supported bridge pose is an energy stimulating one. This pose increase blood supply to the uterus and ovaries.
- Lie on the floor on your back.
- Slowly bend your knees so that they are pointing toward the ceiling, and your feet are planted on the ground.
- Look toward the ceiling.
- Keep your arms down by your side with your palms facing down.
- Slowly scoot your feet toward your behind.
- When your feet are as close to your behind as you feel comfortable, begin lifting your behind off the floor slowly, to form bridge pose.
- If you need to, you can use a block, pillow, or blanket underneath your behind for support.
- Breathe deeply and gently while in the pose, and hold it for as long as you like.
- To come out of the pose, just bring your behind back down to the floor, roll onto your side, and come up to a seated position.
- It’s important to be mindful of your back during this pose. Do not do anything that makes your body uncomfortable or unhappy!
Cobra Pose- This is one of the most effective yoga poses for increasing blood flow to the uterus, and it is also very energizing!
- Lie face down on the floor with your feet and toes pointing slightly outward.
- Take a deep breath, and as you inhale, push your hands against the floor, lift your head and chest, and tilt your head backwards.
- Breathing well in the position will allow you to stay here as long as you like.
- When you are ready to come out of the position, exhale and move your head downward until your forehead is nearly touching the floor.
Bound angle pose- After coming out of cobra, which is a bit of a backbend pose, you will want to counter it with a pose like bound angle pose. This pose helps open the hips and thighs, and increases circulation to the pelvic area.
- Begin by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Now bend your knees, pulling your heels toward your pelvis.
- Drop your knees out toward the side, and press the soles of your feet together.
- Pull your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can.
- Keeping your back nice and straight, lift your breastbone upward (this helps keep the back straight), and bring your shoulders low (do not hunch the shoulders, just lean them forward toward the ground.
- Breathe gently, and hold the position for as long as you can.
- When you are done, just lift your head and shoulders back, sitting up, and straighten your legs out in front of you.
Yoga does many great things for fertility, even apart from increasing blood flow to the uterus! It reduces stress, helps us sleep better at night, strengthens the immune system, improves ovarian function, lessens the side-effects of hormonal treatments (like fertility drugs), and some even say that it increases IVF success rates. (Source)
If you are especially interested in this topic, there is a WONDERFUL book available that I would highly recommend. Yoga for Fertility was written by two women who, combined, struggled with PCOS, infertility, and miscarriages, went through IUIs and IVF, and went on to become certified yoga instructors specializing in fertility yoga. They know their stuff, too! The book goes through several difference sequences of poses, explains how to do the, why, and at what point in your cycle you should or should not do each pose. For instance, legs up the wall is a wonderful fertility pose, but only needs to be done during the second half of your cycle. The book explains in detail which sequences you should do depending on where you are in your natural cycle, you IUI cycle, or your IVF cycle. It is a great tool, and I would highly recommend it!
If you’ve never done yoga before, it is safest to begin by finding a local class to attend as opposed to following a yoga video in your living room. A yoga instructor can help you learn the correct way to do each of the poses, and make sure that you are not doing anything that could cause your body harm.
If you have done yoga before, and are a bit more experienced, it is wonderful to develop your own home practice, and to incorporate some of the moves I’ve mentioned today!