Approximately 30 percent of IVF patients suffer from anxiety and depression, with studies showing an infertility diagnosis causes the same amount of stress, anxiety, and depression as an HIV or cancer diagnosis.
In one of the largest controlled yoga studies to date, Dr. Jenny Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centers of Illinois and Beth Heller of Pulling Down the Moon analyzed the impact of yoga on anxiety in fertility patients.
Using the American Psychological Association's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), study results found that after a six-week yoga program, state anxiety scores reduced by 20 percent in the yoga group versus two percent in the control group, and trait anxiety reduced by 12 percent in the yoga group versus three percent in the control group.
Participants completed 45 minutes of vinyasa-style yoga and 30 minutes of group discussion with other infertility patients per week over a period of six weeks.
The study was recently presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Listen in as Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron and Heller join Dr. Susanne to share more about their research, as well as why yoga can be an effective way to deal with both infertility and the stress that may result.