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Can Yoga Solve Your Fertility Problems?

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Studies show an infertility diagnosis causes the same amount of stress, anxiety, and depression as an HIV or cancer diagnosis.
Air Date: 12/4/15
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron, MD & Beth Heller, Co-Founder of Pulling Down the Moon, Inc.
Jenny-Hirshfeld-Cytron1Dr. Jenny Hirshfeld-Cytron is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at University of Chicago, and then completed her three-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern. Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron’s professional interests include fertility preservation, which involves preserving fertility for women facing diseases of which treatment could impair ovarian function, as well as women choosing to delay fertility for social or personal reasons. Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron is well published in the areas of fertility preservation and cost analysis of fertility therapies. Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron’s personal practice philosophy stems not only from her clinical expertise, but from her experience as a woman and a mother. She understands the importance of individualized, comprehensive infertility care.

Beth-Heller croppedBeth Heller is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Pulling Down the Moon, Inc., Integrative Care for Fertility (ICF ™). Beth earned her Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 1999 and prior to founding PDtM. She saw firsthand the powerful connection between mind and body during her work as a Nutrition Researcher for the Women’s Walking Program, a large National Institutes of Health-funded study that examined the impact of walking exercise on the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of menopausal women. Beth began practicing yoga in 1998 and soon thereafter, her periods, which had been absent for four years, returned without change to her diet, body composition or exercise levels. Beth is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. She teaches yoga in classes and in one-on-one instruction throughout the Chicago-land area and is a creator, co-director and teacher for Pulling Down the Moon, Yoga for Fertility.
Can Yoga Solve Your Fertility Problems?
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.