4 Things to Do Before Trying Fertility Hypnotherapy
Research shows hypnotherapy helps with fertility. In October 2003, Fertility and Sterility Journal published a small uncontrolled clinical study. The objective was ‘to determine the effects of hypnotherapy on resumption of menstruation in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea (FHA).’ The participants had one 45–70 minutes hypnotherapy session. After twelve weeks, the participants returned to confirm whether they had at least one period lasting at least three days. Nine of the participants reported onset of menstruation within twelve weeks. One of the participants fell pregnant after the first menstruation. Three had a regular cycle length, two had a slightly longer cycle length, and the other three menstruated once. All participants reported positive side effects of the hypnotherapy session.
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In 2013 the Journal of the Indian Medical Association published a study exploring psychotherapeutic intervention with hypnosis in 554 couples with reproductive failure. The objective of this study was to establish the efficacy of psychotherapeutic intervention, including hypnotherapy, in couples with unexplained reproductive failure. Over 28 years, 554 couples without any anatomical or physiological anomaly participated in the study.
The standard protocol included psychotherapeutic intervention with indirect and direct hypnosis for investigation and therapy of infertile couples. The role of hypnotherapy was general stress relief initially, and targeted to specific stressors subsequently.
Success was in terms of pregnancy, which occurred in three hundred and ninety-seven couples. An overall success rate of seventy one percent. Twenty-six couples had a laparoscopy to exclude spasm of the tubes. Those who had a spasm of the tube received indirect hypnosis. Sixteen of these couples, sixty-one-point five percent, conceived.
If you’re experiencing infertility, hypnotherapy is a positive next step. However, before you try fertility hypnotherapy, there are four lifestyle changes to check first.
Sleep researchers at the University of Chicago took a group of young healthy males and sampled their testosterone levels after little sleep and well rested. The conclusion after studying the results shows a significant drop in testosterone in a male (compared to his own baseline level) when he does not get sufficient sleep. So large is the difference that it “ages” a man by ten to fifteen years in terms of testosterone quality. In addition, men who do not get enough or good enough quality sleep have a 29% lower sperm count than those who get a good quality, full night’s sleep.
Women who get less than six hours of sleep per night have a 20% drop in follicular releasing hormone. Shift work can cause disruption in menstrual cycles and reduce a woman’s ability to conceive. Alarmingly, women who routinely sleep less than eight hours per night are at greater risk of first trimester miscarriage than those who consistently sleep for eight hours or more per night.
Sleep is easier said than done sometimes. My blog post here will guide you on sleep options when it’s a struggle.
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My blog post here gives an overview of the meaning of food nutrition. We have an overload of information, and no one seems to agree. Some people believe a paleo diet is how we should all eat – the foods of the hunter gatherer. Other people swear by veganism, but what about plant based? A nutritional therapist will give you undivided attention. Take the time to understand your current diet and suggest edits to nourish you. Some will help you with hormone tests to check everything is in order, and guide you with supplements or diet changes if necessary.
I do not advocate any diet specifically, but when I work with people struggling to conceive, I speak about animal products. I believe we need awareness of the hormone affecting properties of some meats and dairy. Dairy foods have naturally occurring hormones that have biological effects on humans and animals. Additionally, some animals destined for our plates receive routine medication and eat food riddled with chemicals. These substances naturally end up in the animal meat that we eat. Research supports this, but the effect on fertility is controversial. My intuition is to consume 100% grass fed local meat (excluding chicken, which needs straightforward cereals) and medicated only when necessary. Ideally, the calves drink only their mother’s milk.
Some people believe low fat dairy contains higher concentrations of hormones. High fat dairy contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and the casein protein in dairy may increase inflammation, therefore trigger your immune system. If a reduction in dairy will not cause you harm in other ways, it is worth considering if you want to conceive.
My blog post here gives information on super foods to enhance ovulation.
Imagine, you’re an early human doing what early humans did. Perhaps hunting or gathering your food, building your shelter or tending to the fire, and suddenly you sense a sabretooth cat, preying upon you. This is of course all imaginary and fantastical. You do whatever you need to do to save your life. This is not a conscious act. Your brain quickly switches into the fight, flight or freeze response. You react quickly and instinctually without human thought. Internally, the primitive threat response makes many changes to help you run, fight or freeze, and hopefully stay alive.
Your threat response as a modern human is the same as homo sapiens, only we don’t have the same danger. When you enter a state of stress (due to a busy day at work, an argument with your friend, an approaching deadline, for example), your body flips into the life saving response. The internal process includes ‘switching off’ all bodily functions that are unnecessary during a lifesaving flee or fight. Almost certainly the reproductive system. Stress therefore delays (for the short term or long term) ovulation and reduces the resources sent to the reproductive system in general.
If you want optimal reproductive function, schedule time to bring your body into a calm, relaxed state every day. My blog posts on meditation give some guidance on this.
Understand the Menstrual Cycle
Finally, but arguably most importantly, understand the workings of your own body. I recommend reading Taking Charge of your Fertility and Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler or Period Power by Maisie Hill. This internal awareness will support you throughout pregnancy and empower you to live in alignment with your natural processes.