Yoga can help with fertility in a whole range of conditions. If you are just starting to try to conceive, yoga for fertility will help prepare the entire endocrine and reproductive systems to be working as effectively as possible. The earlier you start, the better, as yoga has a cumulative effect over time.

Unexplained Infertility

If you have been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility,” you are not alone. This is a rather common diagnosis, and hints at the fact that current science and medicine does not yet understand, or have the ability to address, many of the factors that impact fertility. In these cases, yoga can help unravel the factors that may be contributing to the fertility issues. Imbalances in the hormonal system, which have not been detected because they lie outside the normal fertility clinic testing, may be responsible. Yoga can help support the endocrine system, and over time will help to regulate some of these imbalances.

Another common contributing factor to unexplained infertility can be the body’s response to high stress levels, which causes non-fertility-supporting physiological changes in the body. Yoga has been clearly shown to help to calm the body’s fight-or-flight reaction, and reverse those physiological changes.

A third common factor in unexplained infertility can be emotional or subconscious barriers to conception. The nature of yoga is that it helps peel away the layers of “avidya,” which we regard in yoga as matter that clouds our clear perception of things. The Western version of “avidya” might be layers of emotional patterning. These layers create obstacles to our being able to see situations clearly, and accomplish what we are intrinsically completely capable of doing. Mind/body medicine continues to demonstrate how innately linked the body’s responses are to our emotional states. Yoga helps to balance our emotional responses.


An increasingly common diagnosis we see in women with fertility challenges is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition in which the ovaries produce many small, cyst-like follicles, which fail to develop properly. It is attributed to an insulin/ blood sugar imbalance in the bloodstream—a condition that is controlled by the pancreas. The pancreas is one of the glands in the endocrine system, which sits near the kidneys and adrenal glands. As we have seen, yoga for fertility can help to rebalance the endocrine system, and thus can be helpful in improving the underlying conditions that cause PCOS.


Another fairly common diagnosis for fertility issues is endometriosis, a condition in which cells like those that line the uterus (the endometrium) attach to other tissues inside the abdomen. An estimated five to seven million American women currently suffer from endometriosis, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. About 40% of women with infertility may have some level of endometriosis.

It is not usually possible to give a definitive diagnosis of endometriosis without actually looking into the abdominal cavity, although ultrasounds can sometimes indicate its presence. A laparoscope is used to see into the pelvic cavity to look for the lesions that indicate endometriosis, and sometimes these are removed surgically. Endometriosis lesions can be found on the uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and even in areas of the body far from the pelvis, such as the lungs. Sometimes the lesions can bind the reproductive organs to the pelvic walls or ligaments, or other organs. Endometriosis may be exacerbated by excess estrogen.

There is no real consensus about the cause or the cure for endometriosis. There have been some studies suggesting that reducing general inflammation in the body can help alleviate endometriosis.1 Dietary changes, supplementing with antioxidants, yoga, and stress reduction techniques can all help reduce inflammation.

Gentle yoga can help alleviate the discomfort of endometriosis, which often causes debilitating pain. Also, if excess estrogen is contributing to the problem, yoga for fertility can help rebalance the hormonal system to correct the estrogen/progesterone ratio.


Many women turn to yoga for fertility classes after having one or more miscarriages. In many cases, these women eventually are able to carry a pregnancy to term. Sometimes, in addition to adding a daily yoga practice, this has required making some lifestyle or dietary changes, or dealing with some emotional or other factors. In some percentage of cases, medical intervention is also required.

Continuing a yoga practice has helped them cope with the stress of miscarriage, as well as helping to overcome the underlying problems that may have contributed to the pregnancy losses. Yoga for fertility classes can also offer a support system for women grieving from miscarriage. Usually in our classes there are a few women who have been through miscarriages, and so the level of understanding and empathy is very high. In our culture, this type of support system is otherwise very much lacking. Often, women who have had miscarriages are just expected to carry on, or try again, without any acknowledgment of their deep and recent losses. Sometimes, accumulated grief from miscarriages can impede further attempts to conceive. Because yoga helps to move emotional energy rather than allowing it to just sit and accumulate, yoga is a useful tool for working with grief, as well as other strong emotions.