Updated: Nov 28, 2022
I struggled with infertility for six long years, and during that time I tried a lot of different things hoping they would help. But it wasn't until I finally took up fertility meditation in earnest at the 5 1/2 year mark that anything really changed. And then everything changed!
Fertility meditation is an incredibly effective way to boost your fertility naturally and help you maintain your sanity as you work to conceive. In this post I'm going to explain why meditation for fertility is such a powerful tool, and I'll walk you through the (very easy) steps to set up your own practice.
Let's Start at the Very Beginning: What is Meditation?
If you look it up in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you'll see that their definition of meditation is, “to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation.”
If you look back in time to its origins, meditative practices date back thousands of years to China, Egypt, and other Eastern locations. Meditation slowly spread from one culture and religion to another, adapting and changing as it traveled. Most major religions have some form of formal meditation, and earnest prayer itself is also a form of meditation.
Over the last 50 years, meditation as most of us know it—uncoupled from its religious underpinnings—has become increasingly popular in the Western secular, mainstream.
And lucky for us that it has!
Life is Chaotic
We live really busy lives, wouldn’t you agree? Not that they’re not happy and good, but there’s so much going on around us, and it can be really hard to “turn off,” even for a little bit.
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly running and not getting enough air? Or have racing thoughts that you can’t turn off? I sure do!
And what about the connection between your mind and body? Do you sometimes feel totally disconnected? If you're being honest with yourself, the answer is probably yes.
Meditation is a really wonderful way to stop that running sensation, tune out the background noise and reestablish your connection to your body.
How Meditation Can Improve Your Fertility
Fertility meditation works on both a mental and physical level. The mental and physical are completely intertwined, but I’m going to break them apart for the sake of explanation.
Fertility meditation and your mind:
Let’s name some of the most common feelings that go along with infertility. I’ll throw out frustration, sadness, anger, confusion, jealousy, anxiety, guilt, isolation and stress. Feel free to add your own words to the list.
It sucks when these feelings hang over you all the time doesn’t it?!
Believe it or not, meditation can help.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that it will take all the emotion out of infertility and you’ll never feel sad or angry or any or the rest of it. You will. But meditation can:
Help you to manage these feelings when they pop up.
Help you find bright spots in your world that perhaps you’re overlooking.
Give you a chance to shut off the mental noise and take a break for a bit.
Increase your overall feelings of happiness and wellbeing, even while working through infertility.
Fertility meditation and your body:
We can agree that infertility, trouble conceiving, fertility problems—whatever you’re preferred phrase—are really stressful. Right?
A lot of stress over a long time isn’t good for your body and can actually affect your fertility. Check this out:
• Blood supply to your uterus is decreased which means you don’t get a good, thick uterine lining. • Stress hormones signal your body to make fewer reproductive hormones which can, among other things, cause problems with ovulation. • And to cap it all off, your sex drive goes down.
Meditation triggers what is known as the “relaxation response,” which is exactly what it sounds like. It helps your body calm itself down so that it can function normally and optimally.
4 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Fertility Meditation Practice
Now that you know why you should do it, let's talk about how you should do it:
1. Find a quiet place. Any quiet place is fine.
2. Choose a comfortable position. You can meditate in any position you want, however, if you think you’re likely to fall asleep when you meditate then don’t lie down. Sleeping is great, and we all need more of it, but it’s not the same as meditating.
3. Pick something to focus on. Frequently people choose a single, meaningful word or a short phrase to repeat over and over. You can also use a prayer, or a simple sound. Instead of using words, you could even find something in front of you to look at.
4. Show up with a passive, non-judgmental attitude. (More on that below!)
These are the basics, but you’re free to customize your fertility meditation sessions in any way that works for you.
Wait, What Do You Mean by a “Passive, Non-Judgmental Attitude”?
When you meditate, especially when you first begin to practice, you will find that lots of thoughts pop into your head. Having a passive attitude simply means that when a thought comes to you, you simply notice it and let it move on. You don’t take the time to think about it but instead turn your attention back to your breathing, your mantra, or wherever it is you’ve chosen to focus.
Being non-judgmental simply means that you’re not concerned with how “good” or “bad” you are at meditating or clearing your thoughts. It’s not a competition with yourself or anyone else.
Equally importantly, you’re not concerned with how “good” or “bad” your thoughts are. Feeling jealous about a friend’s pregnancy? Fine. Feeling resentful that your partner isn’t getting stuck with all the needles? Fine. Just let your thoughts come and go.
Meditation is something of a skill, and the more often you do it, the easier it will become. I promise.
How Long Do I Need to Meditate to Improve My Fertility?
At least 20 minutes per day is the number most often quoted.
But just as with any new habit, you don’t need to jump in all at once. Start slowly with five minutes, get comfortable with it, and then gradually add time. You can work up to one 20 minute block, or you can divide it into two 10 minute blocks. You’ll get the same benefits either way.
But Clearing My Head is Really So Hard...
This is where many people get stuck and give up their fertility meditation practice. As I said above, it’s likely that thoughts will just pop into your head, but here’s the thing: believe it or not, meditation takes practice. And the more you do it, the fewer thoughts will pop into your head, and the easier it becomes to let any that do just pass on by.
If you find yourself getting frustrated by an on-going internal dialogue, here are a couple of suggestions:
1. “Download” Your Worries Before You Begin
One trick that I’ve learned over the years is to acknowledge right up front all the things that are bothering me or causing me to feel tense. As an example, if I were to sit down to meditate right now I might say to myself, “I’m tense because I haven’t gotten my next blog post done yet. I’m stressed out because I have loads of unread emails. And on top of that I don’t know when I’m going to find the time to go the grocery store.” There’s just something about naming the issues that makes it easier to let them fade into the background!
Another idea is to make a list. For example, if you find that to-do items keep showing up when you try to mediate, then write out a list before you start so that you know it’s written down and you’re not worried you’ll forget anything.
2. Visualize Your Mantra
Kick your mantra up a notch by actually visualizing the words, kind of like a street sign, as you say them. It’s just another way of helping you steer your brain in the desired direction.
3. Try Guided Fertility Meditation.
Many people find that listening to someone else guide them through a meditation makes it easier for them to let go of all their other thoughts. If you're interested in trying a guided meditation for fertility, I made a short video for you. If you’re looking for something more personalized, send me a note to talk about what you might need!
Whatever sort of fertility meditation routine you eventually settle on, you’ll find that it has a positive impact on your body, mind and fertility!