Context: Depending on the cause of the infertility, nonsurgical or surgical treatments may be used to treat men and women with infertility. Despite improved outcomes due to medical advances, assisted reproductive technology (ART) for couples with infertility is sometimes unsuccessful. Success may be affected by the patient's social, psychological, and physical status.
Objective: The study examined the effects of yoga-including asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (proper breathing), shavasana, and meditation-on male and female fertility and ART outcomes.
Design: The research team performed a literature review, electronically searching for articles published between January 1978 and January 2016 in the PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases.
Setting: The study took place at the Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center at the Avicenna Research Institute at the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (Tehran, Iran).
Participants: Participants were couples with infertility taking part in 87 reviewed studies.
Intervention: Yoga was the intervention.
Outcome measures: The outcome measures comprised fertility factors in males and females, fertility rate, and ART success rate.
Results: The reviewed studies showed that yoga can provide stress management for patients with infertility, with beneficial effects on fertility, helping couples give birth. They found that yoga also could reduce pain; decrease depression, anxiety, and stress; reduce the rate of assisted vaginal delivery; and improve fetal outcomes.
Conclusions: Yoga can help couples overcome infertility and increase the ART success rate by improving the physiological and psychological states of both men and women.