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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Can You Think Yourself Pregnant? Positive Thinking and Mindfulness Can Get You Pregnant

How to wish yourself in a place in time, or a place in your life may work for pregnancy as well. So can you think yourself pregnant, or what some might call the red shoe technique (Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz? What women then want to know, is how to get into this mentally positive state to help them conceive, does the thinking have to be of any particular sort of? Concentrating? Wishful? Whimsical? Or you have to be mindful to get pregnant? Probably not strictly thinking, but new studies say it will help. Some define mindfulness pretty much like positive thinking or eliminating the physical effects of stress from your bodies. Other physicians and researchers emphasize mindfulness can be literally just being aware of a situation. In meditative circles they refer to mindfulness as the mental energy you can achieve by focusing, acceptance and being aware of one's feelings, one's body, and one's desires. Therapeutically it has been known to help overcome great adversity, grief, and all manners of challenges, including the attempt to get pregnant.  It's been the advice of girlfriends, your grandmother, and therapists to: just relax, and you will get pregnant. Put differently, can too much stress affect a woman’s (or a couple's) ability to become  pregnant? Prior studies have tried to look at stress manifested as depression or anxiety, and the ability to treat infertility merely by treating the underlying clinical depression, more than just relieving some stress. Stress can be very powerful. In monkey models it has been shown that even loose restraint in a chair can soar cortisol levels!. A study looked at stress in any women trying to get pregnant. Not specifically an infertile group, but the average woman. And they were particularly interested in whether stress would affect the time to achieving conception based on stress hormone testing with cortisol and alpha-amylase in the saliva. They didn't find a direct relationship with cortisol, but women who complained of long standing stress, and who had higher alpha amylase levels did take longer to get pregnant according to this study.  Published March 2014 in Human Reproduction.The lead author, Courtney D. Lynch, director of reproductive epidemiology at Ohio State University, said that if a woman was having difficulty becoming pregnant, suggested in an article in the NYTimes "it would be harmless, and might be helpful, to consider stress-reduction techniques." She went on to say,“Yoga, meditation, mindfulness have been successful in other health outcomes,” she said, “and might be helpful for fertility as well." If you are trying for pregnancy, about 3% of all couples trying will get pregnant in a month of having unprotected intercourse. If the best ovulation inducing fertility treatments are used, about 17% of the group should conceive per cycle. If mindfulness is used, the effect about doubled the normal rate of conception. Translated differently, it can take many months to get pregnant, but using the techniques described can achieve additional pregnancies every few months. This is assuming that there are no other factors preventing pregnancy, a reason to come in for consultation when you are ready to get pregnant!

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