June 14th, 2021

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Effects of Hatha Yoga on Endocrine Functions and Assisted Reproductive Technology Outcomes in Women with Infertility: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Authors:  Kuniaki Ota, M.D., Ph.D., Toshifumi Takahashi, M.D., Ph.D., Mikiko Katagiri, M.D., Hideki Miznuma, M.D., Ph.D., and Hiroaki Yoshida, M.D., Ph.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a Hatha yoga program for women with repeated assisted reproductive technology (ART) failure could affect endocrine functions and ART outcomes.

STUDY DESIGN: In this retrospective cohort study, all patients received more than 3 ART cycles and repeatedly failed to conceive. Altogether, one group of 41 patients engaged in Hatha yoga practice for 3 months, and another 41 patients who did not follow the Hatha yoga program served as controls. The basal levels of hormones were measured, and parameters related to ART outcomes were evaluated.

RESULTS: Changes in the levels of ovarian steroid hormones from baseline after 3 months were not significantly different between the two groups. However, basal gonadotropin levels were significantly decreased and body mass index significantly increased from baseline in the Hatha yoga group as compared with the control group. There were no significant differences in ART outcomes between the two groups.

CONCLUSION: We showed that 3-month Hatha yoga programs can significantly reduce basal gonadotropin levels in women undergoing ART cycles repeatedly. While no differences were found in ART outcomes between the patients participating in the Hatha yoga practice program and the control group, our results suggest that Hatha yoga mediates biological effects through hormonal changes.
Keywords:  assisted reproductive techniques, endocrinology, gonadotropins, infertility, yoga
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