By Sue Turner, clinical hypnotherapist
As women get older, most will get a sense of urgency about motherhood as the biological clock is ticking. Many men will see fatherhood as a key part of their life plan. So it can be devastating for all the family to find that pregnancy is not as easy and natural as we thought it to be.
Over the years, since I qualified as a clinical hypnotherapist, I have worked with a number of women and couples who have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. For nearly a quarter of people who seek medical advice and testing, this can be a frustrating diagnosis.
It is often said that this type of infertility is subject to the law of ‘reversed effect’. The more you try the more difficult it seems to become. It is amazing how the power of creative visualisation and helping people tap into their own driving force can help them achieve their goals, feel stronger and feel more determined to prevail.
The underlying theme of hypnotherapy is calmness, confidence and self-belief, coupled with a sense of relaxation. It enables people to see themselves achieve a positive outcome. We know that by talking to the subconscious we can help people with significant physical issues, such as bladder and bowel control, Irritable bowel syndrome, clearing psoriasis, managing chronic pain. There may also be a strong element of working with the power of the person’s imagination so they can imagine or sense that their bodies are functioning to perfection.
So, when working with clients presenting with an unexplained infertility diagnosis, I try to help them by getting them to believe that they do have the ability to conceive. Perhaps, helping them tap into their subconscious to clear any deeper blocks. These could include their feelings about their relationship, or their ability to be good parents, the environment that they are living in or how much they want to bring a child into the world. (This could relate to their own upbringing).
Other blocks could be unhealthy lifestyle or feelings of guilt. Hypnotherapy can help the couples separately or jointly feel more relaxed and trust themselves and their partners. I would also get the woman to imagine her womb as a safe haven or a beautiful place for a baby to grow. With the prospective fathers I would get them to imagine they have healthy powerful sperm that can push their way through and fertilise the egg.
The emotional and financial cost of IVF can put a lot of strain on a relationship
I now seeing more and more couples or women going down the IVF route who need to stay resilient and strong, separately and jointly to help them reach a happy result. They need to support each other through the checks and complex medical procedures and processes. The IVF journey can be quite challenging for both women and their partners.
Once the IVF programme is in place the woman must follow a protocol and process which will involve tests, scans and hormone injections. These tests and hormones might create a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for the women and each hospital visit may feel like a landmark before they can move onto the next stage. They need to stay optimistic and have positive expectations about the outcome of the journey.
Other emotional pressures could be the need and urgency for intimacy and coupling even if the partners are tired or have other pressures.
There could be financial stress due to the costs and taking time out of work, there could also be a sense of social pressure – family and friends wanting constant updates.
When working with women and couples who find themselves taking the IVF option I offer help and support and self-belief, similar to that of unexplained infertility. The woman is the subject of many intimate examinations and tests. A lot of people have a fear of medical procedures and hypnosis is very powerful to help them deal with this.
Again, I would demonstrate the power of hypnosis by teaching them how to stay calm and relaxed and to have that feeling of self-belief that they can achieve. We often say in terms of hypnosis ‘what you can conceive – you can achieve’. In this case we might say ‘if you can believe you will have a baby and can see it, perhaps you are more likely to conceive it’.
Want to find out more?
I have written a programme to help couples going through IVF and infertility problems. Hypnotherapy is known as a brief therapy so we are trying to help people in as few sessions as possible, by teaching them tools to practise for themselves like self hypnosis.
If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help with Infertility or IVF contact Sue Turner here. If you are in the UK at The Fertility Show in London this weekend, Sue will be joining us in the Babble Lounge and so why not pop along and have a chat with her there.
Did hypnotherapy help you to become a parent? We’d love to hear your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org