Fertility Hypnotherapy is a multidisciplinary approach that combines fertility hypnosis with the other calming techniques and mind-based therapies of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
And because not ALL the techniques used within fertility hypnotherapy are hypnosis?
You can start learning straight away!
So in this article we shall explore methods such as progressive muscle relaxation, visualisation, acceptance and affirmations as well as the benefits of using real hypnosis.
And of course, as per usual, when using any type of complementary therapy, it’s important to speak to your GP or fertility consultant first.
Can Hypnotherapy help with Infertility?
Studies have shown that both stress and depression can effect your reproductive health and chances of conceiving. In fact, even the process of infertility – the fertility clinics and all the tests take their toll too. And from my own personal experience even taking your basal body temperature day after day starts to feel like a daily grind!
Emotional stress and trauma are so serious, they can literally start ‘out of cycle’ spontaneous menstruation and both emotional and physical stress can stop periods such as in the case of hypothalamic amenorrhea.
And it makes sense, because our entire biology and psychology is set up for survival.
Survival out ranks reproduction BIG TIME!
And whilst you might not be suffering from extreme stress whilst trying to conceive, with our busy modern lives, a low level of anxiety is almost considered normal!
So it’s interesting to know that studies have also shown that just a rise in cortisol reduces estradiol production, which can lead to deterioration in oocyte quality and oxidative stress. That studies have shown Hypnotherapy can reduce stress levels, reduce physical and emotional pain, and Hypnosis can more than double the IVF success rate!
So Hypnotherapy can help with infertility!
7 Fertility Hypnotherapy tips to help you towards a fertile path
Below are 9 fertility hypnotherapy techniques to help sooth your parasympathetic nervous system, create calm & contentment deep within your unconscious mind and naturally help your fertility!
I’m including some of the how and why, because there’s nothing more unhelpful than being told to “just use some relaxation techniques”!!!
You know how to breath. But knowing how to breathing WELL is better.
- Body and mind are like a tag team that respond to each other and inform the way you breath
- When body or mind becomes tense, the breath shortens & quickens, communicating stress
- But breath also informs the response of body and mind!
- So fast breath increases stress & calm breath increases relaxation
So learning to breath well can help you produce calm hormones and encourage an optimal fertility
Start with this easy 3:4 technique:
- Breath in to a gentle count of 3
- Breath out to a gentle count of 4
Give it a try and notice your shoulders dropping, mind and body softening and your calm hormones flowing. You produce Oxytocin on the long out breath – the love hormone!
An affirmation is a positive statement used to affirm what you truly want. Fertility affirmations help you to move away from normal negative self talk that comes with a prolonged journey.
For best effect, repeat your affirmation to yourself daily but there are easier ways that I share elsewhere.
How fertility affirmations work:
Humans have thousands of thoughts a day, and several thousand of those thoughts are negative, perhaps even more if you’re struggling to get pregnant.
So in order to reframe the fear, an affirmation needs to be the opposite of the negative thought that’s playing on your mind, whilst still being realistic. And it should always be present tense and in the first person.
I am calm and content
Not: I will be calm and content
Not: My partner is calm and content
Worrying about your fertility is normal and the longer it takes to become pregnant, the worse it can get. But it might be reassuring to know that it’s just your brain’s way of saying ‘watch out’ in the face of danger. The brain treats any worry, real or imagined as ‘danger’. And it’s impossible to stop these thoughts entirely.
So rather than wrestling with your fears, which makes it worse, mindfulness & acceptance can help soften their effect.
You can start by:
- noticing your fertility worries as thoughts rather than fact
- noticing your fertility concerns rather than responding to them
- accepting fertility worries for what they are and letting them gently pass by rather trying trying to push them away
- accepting how you feel in the moment and naming it
4. Fertility Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a positive state of focused awareness in which the mind enters a deep trance-like state called the “Default Mode Network”. EEG studies by Dr R Gillibrand have show that the neural pathways within the left pre-frontal cortex, solution focused, creative frontal lobes and even the mechanism of the wonderful ‘eureka’ moment, all become activated. And while in this state, the subconscious mind is wonderfully open to the power of suggestion and becomes better and finding natural solutions like – I can let the stress go! so it’s no wonder that hypnosis is so widely used to help natural conception!
But it doesn’t stop there!
A study by E. Levitas et al, found that the clinical pregnancy rate of women after in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer more than doubled with fertility hypnosis.
So because hypnosis & IVF hypnosis is different to meditation or relaxation, it is important to work with a fully registered Clinical Hypnotherapist and get the real deal. Naming no names but – anyone can make a relaxation track and call it a ‘fertility hypnosis’ MP3!
So when looking for a Hypnotherapist:
- UK Hypnotherapist – check they are registered with the Complemetary Health Care Council (CNHC)
- US Hypnotherapist – check they are registered with the American Hypnosis Association (AHA)
So whether you need my 6 week IVF hypnosis programme or the session by session therapeutic elements of fertility hypnotherapy you will benefit from the power of positive suggestion and somatic nature of fertility focused hypnosis.
Have you ever found yourself salivating when someone describes the menu of an amazing desert parlour? Or found yourself breathing deep and letting go as you watch a luxury travel show?
The mind responds to thoughts as if it they are real.
In fact, the mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality!
Which explains why negative thoughts produce stress hormones.
And why visualisations are the most well known hypnosis technique when you’re trying to conceive.
Athletes even use visualisations when perfecting their technique or recovering from injury because of the positive affect on the body!
The way you think determines how you feel, and the body will respond to a visualisation as if it is real.
So take some time and visualise what you really do want, allowing yourself to not only ‘see’ it but ‘feel’ it as well.
If visualising conception or a healthy pregnancy is too much too soon, try visualising a rich and nutritious uterine lining, that wonderful glow around your egg, or strong and healthy sperm.
5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
The body is like a window to the mind, with cats being the perfect example!
When a cat is terrified its ears will shoot backwards as it freezes and makes itself smaller. And if it’s really scared it lifts its back & all it’s hair stands on end.
And in humans our neck and shoulders tense.
So this is an easy fertility trick!
So as you continue to read, allow yourself to notice ay tensions in your body. Perhaps your shoulders are a little high or your arms a little tense?
This is a sign of normal subconscious stress, and by noticing it, you can choose to let it go.
You can start by:
- consciously allowing your body to relax
- imagining your muscles softening and smoothing
- starting at the top of your head
- moving all the way down
- finishing at your feet
Now doesn’t that feel WONDERFUL?
6. Speak kindly to yourself
Words carry incredible power. And the negative words we often use in our ‘inner dialogue’ take their toll on our mental and physical wellbeing because the subconscious mind absorbs negative words as if they are as real as positive words.
e.g. If your inner dialogue includes “I don’t want my body to fail” the mind will absorb “fail” before it then has to work backwards to add “don’t” – but FAIL is already firmly embedded. So instead, say the same thing but use positive words “I want my body to succeed”.
And guess what?
Sentence 1 produces stress hormones.
Sentence 2 produces happy hormones.
So these simple tips can help:
- Be mindful of your inner and out dialogue
- Focus on what you DO want, rather than what you don’t want
- Avoid negatives – there will be a better way to say it
I’m not a big fan of gratitude because people so often get stuck on the same things:
- I’m grateful for my job
- Grateful for my home
- Grateful for my partner
And it never evolves! And yes it’s nice, and we are grateful, I’m not a total grump, but what’s the point in that?
So if gratitude feels static or empty to you too?
Try this tip from my clinical tool box:
Before you go to bed at night write down 3 good things from the day…and doesn’t have to be big, expensive or clever…
Examples my clients have given include:
- Todays first cup of tea
- The pink of the dawn sky
- The smell of the rain
- My wife’s perfume
- Having a bath without my business phone ringing
- A really good nights sleep
This gorgeous little exercise does something wonderful to body & brain and I will share what it it when you work with me!
Finding a calmer, quieter mind can help not only your experience of infertility, but also your pregnancy success as well. And you have some lovely ideas to get started with!
But if you would like to move deeper into the therapeutic world of fertility hypnotherapy or hypnosis for IVF and have the support of your own fertility therapist, you can start by just dropping me an email.