Doctors and scientists from all over the world are proving the effectiveness of hypnosis for fertility and other reproductive challenges. Many fertility experts see the transfer of an embryo to a woman’s uterus as a key event that determines whether IVF will succeed. Stress during embryo transfer can reduce the success rate, and many women experience stress from fear that the treatment will fail, or that the transfer will be painful. Hypnosis can be instrumental in relieving such stress.
Study Showing Hypnosis Doubles Rate of Fertility
Women who are hypnotized before undergoing the transfer of an embryo by in-vitro fertilization (IVF), may be more likely to become pregnant. One study showed that nearly 60 percent of a group of women who used hypnosis during the procedure became pregnant compared to about 30 percent of a group of women who didn’t use hypnosis.
Women in the hypnosis group met with a physician certified in hypnosis, who asked them to select a “very pleasant” past experience to think of during embryo transfer. Patients were hypnotized before the transfer, and told to compare the procedure “with the reception of long-awaited and very welcome guests.” After the woman was in trance state for about 10 minutes, the doctors began the transfer. When the procedure was finished, before the patients were taken out of the hypnotized state, they were given instructions intended to help them feel calm, relaxed and optimistic.
Hypnosis Relaxes the Uterus, Increasing Fertility
Dr. Eliahu Levitas of Soroka University Medical Center in Beer Sheva and his colleagues published their study in May 2006 in Fertility & Sterility, Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (March 2006, vol. 85). Dr. Levitas hypothesizes that hypnosis helped a woman’s uterus to remain relaxed, allowing the embryo to implant more easily. It is also possible, he says, that hypnosis produced changes in the immune or hormonal uterine function resulting in “an improvement in the interaction between the blastocyst and the endometrium,” or the lining of the uterus.
"This study suggests that the use of hypnosis during ET may significantly improve the IVF-ET cycle outcome in terms of increased implantation and clinical pregnancy rates,” according to Dr. Levitas.
Using Hypnotherapy to Treat Depression can Improve Fertility
Depression can often occur by the second to third year of infertility and does not return to normal levels until six years later. Treating depression can improve your fertility.
- Women with a history of depressive symptoms reported twice the rate of subsequent infertility (Psychosomatic Medicine, 1995, vol. 57)
- Women with depression, when treated showed a 60 percent viable pregnancy rate within six months, contrasting with 24 percent when depression went untreated. (Journal of American Medical Women’s Association, 1999, vol.54)
- Women who experienced depression following the failure of their first in vitro fertilization (IVF), had much lower pregnancy rates that their non depressed counterparts during their second IVF cycle (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1993, vol. 37)
A study reported in Reproductive Endocrinology (April 2000, vol. 73, issue 4), treated women who were in their second year of infertility. The women who received group psychological interventions to stem the tide of depression caused by infertility, had significantly increased viable pregnancies compared to those who did not receive preventative treatment for depression.
Hypnotherapy reduces stress and increases confidence, instilling a sense of control in the client, which in turn enables her to maximize chances of conceiving naturally and/or increase the success of medical assistance.