Hypnotherapy and IVF
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy.
Embarking on IVF is a huge decision for any couple. It is an emotional rollercoaster and comes at a price. The procedure itself and the medications involved, place the body and mind under huge pressure.
Therefore IVF is usually a last resort for couples who have tried other medications including Clomid and other procedures including Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI). For many couples, it is costly both financially and emotionally and many come to believe their future happiness depends on a positive outcome. Every cycle of IVF has negative psychological consequences:
- Personal stress
- Relationship stress
- Concern over physical wellness
- Feelings of not being good enough or a failure
- Affecting your work life and social life as well as family life
If the cycle is not successful, the individuals can be left feeling devastated, even more stressed and hopeless. Research suggests that many women find that hypnotherapy makes a positive difference to the whole IVF process. Hypnotherapy relieves stress, teaches coping mechanisms and can enhance the mind/body connection meaning there may be an increased chance of the IVF being successful. Hypnotherapy can also help you deal with negative emotions in a positive and constructive manner.
Sometimes it is easy to feel as though the IVF is out of your control. But you can choose to take that control back.
According to a study presented to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin in July of 2004: hypnosis can effectively double the success of IVF treatments. The study was conducted by Professor Eliahu Levitas and his team at Soroka Hospital in Israel to determine if hypnosis could improve the success of the embryo transfers stage of IVF.
The study of 185 woman found that 28% of the women who were hypnotized for the IVF treatment became pregnant, compared to 14% of the women in the control group. Professor Levitas studied the effects of hypnosis for the IVF treatment and embryo transfer only, because prior studies that demonstrated the stress of the procedure created small contractions of the uterus that prevented the successful implantation of the fertilized egg. The professor indicated that tranquilizers had been used in prior studies, but nothing worked as well as hypnosis. "Performing embryo transfer under hypnosis may significantly contribute to an increased clinical pregnancy rate," Professor Levitas told the conference in Berlin.
Levitas , E. et al 2006 ‘Impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization–embryo transfer: a case-control study .’ Fertility and Sterility Volume 85, Issue 5, Pages 1404 -1408
More information and research can be found here