Up to 38% of couples trying for a baby where the woman is aged over 30 experience problems. Of those couples who seek medical help for their fertility, 15%-30% are told they are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’, that is, unexplained by medical science.
Performing embryo transfer under hypnosis may significantly contribute to an increased clinical pregnancy rate
Professor Levitas, Soroka Hospital Israel.
Professor Levitas is not the only fertility expert to utilise hypnosis. More and more of the medical world are waking up to the power of the mind and how it can be used to improve your health, fertility and IVF success.
Stress is a signal for your body to produce cortisol, the stress hormone. It is there to help protect you in the evolutionary ‘fight or flight’ response – when a sabre-tooth tiger appeared, stone-age people needed a rush of energy with which to fight or run away from it! During the fighting or fleeing, other bodily systems would be put on hold till the danger had passed.
Cortisol creates a hormonal imbalance affecting all aspects of the fertility process. In a study of 16 women reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility (2003), Dr. Sarah Berga of Emory University showed that ovulation was restored in 7 out of 8 women who learned stress management tools (mind-body integration techniques, cognitive therapy techniques and positive imagery) as their stress hormones reduced compared with 2 out of 8 who did not learn the techniques. In 2006, in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, she reported that women who did not ovulate had excessive levels of cortisol.
A UK study of more than 300 women carried out at the fertility clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London has shown that overweight women undergoing fertility treatment have double the risk of miscarriage. It also concluded that more than 35% of overweight and obese women had a miscarriage compared with 21%. Previous research has shown that women who conceive naturally are also at a higher risk or miscarriage if they are overweight. After taking into account factors that may influence the risk of miscarriage, such as age and smoking history, they found the risk of miscarriage was double in the overweight group. The advice should be the same for any woman – that it is important to lose weight independent of how you conceive.
Dr Tarek El-Toukhy, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital.
Your thoughts and feelings can have a profound effect on your fertility..
Just as negative beliefs and stress can negatively affect your chances of getting pregnant, by adopting positive beliefs and learning to release stress and anxiety, you can harness the power of the mind-body link and channel it to increase your chances of getting that positive test result, of you becoming pregnant.
You can change how you feel and what you believe. You can change your biology to improve your fertility, creating the strongest and healthiest environment for you to get pregnant – from harvesting healthy eggs to welcoming, embedding and giving life to the embryo, whether through natural conception or assisted such as IVF.
The good news is that you can learn to positively control your thoughts and your feelings and it’s possible to let go of negative beliefs and overcome unhelpful feelings such as stress and despair. In a process where so much can seem out of your control it can be very empowering to realise you can influence factors which can have a significant impact on the outcome and that pregnancy test result. Using hypnosis and visualisation you can ensure that your mind and body are in the optimal state for you to become pregnant and the embryo to thrive, whether conceiving naturally or with assistance such as IVF.
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