To increase your fertility and improve how you cope with fertility related issues
Most people who are experiencing fertility problems strongly agree that it is stressful. Fertility issues can impact negatively on every area of your life – including your general outlook on life.
There a many ways that hypnotherapy and hypno-psychotherapy can help you to reduce stress, worry and anxiety. Firstly, the state of hypnosis promotes the body’s natural relaxation response. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress or ‘fight or flight’ response – and this is very beneficial for fertility. (see physical reasons below)
Every individual is affected differently by stress – and every individual finds different things stressful. Treatments are tailored to you as an individual and here are examples of how I can help you:
- Experience a deep sense of relaxation that is beneficial to your fertility.
- Resolve anxiety disorders, phobias, panic attacks and other associated symptoms.
- Overcome and manage worry.
- Reduce the impact of fertility problems on your life.
- Practice self-help techniques for ongoing stress reduction.
- Master self-help techniques for particular circumstances and events that you find stressful. For example; News of other people’s pregnancies, uncomfortable questions/opinions about your ‘family intentions’, medical interventions, waiting for pregnancy test results…
- Resolve pre-existing fears and/or phobias that become an issue because of your fertility problems. For example; fear of needles is an issue for those undergoing IVF.
- The hypothalamus regulates both the stress response and the sex hormones. This is why excessive stress can lead to anovulation, irregular menstrual cycles and even complete suppression of the menstrual cycle. In this way, stress can present challenges for those trying to conceive naturally and can also create a ‘conflict’ within the body for those trying to conceive through Assisted Reproductive techniques. For example, the body’s natural response to stress (eg. Suppress ovulation) and drugs used in certain ART’s (eg. To stimulate ovulation).
- The body releases adrenalin when stressed. Adrenalin inhibits the production of progesterone, which is essential for building and maintaining the lining of the uterus.
- During times of stress the body emits high levels of prolactin. This is the same hormone that is released to stimulate lactation (which reduces a woman’s fertility when breast feeding).
- After prolonged stress the nervous system is hyper stimulated and a hyper stimulated nervous system sends less blood to the uterus and ovaries which impairs their optimal functioning.
Research has shown that when we are stressed:
- The mid-brain (the emotional part of our brain) is active.
- The front cortex (the rational / logical / reasoning part of our brain) is inactive.
When the emotional part of our brain is active, we go into ‘extreme thinking’ – it’s black and white, all or nothing, now or never. No compromise, no middle ground, no logic and no reasoning.
If we understand this in evolutionary terms, it makes sense. We feel stressed when faced with danger, such as a tiger poised for attack. The emotional part of our brain takes the lead and prompts us to respond. In this situation, it’s helpful that stress activates the emotional part of our brain. (If the front cortex were active, the tiger would make a meal of us, while we stood applying logic and reason to the situation).
The point is that, irrespective of whether stress is due to threat of a tiger attack or fertility problems – our brains respond to stress in the same way. The emotional part of our brain is active.
When fertility problems endure for months and years, stress levels can be high. And so the emotional part of the brain is active over a prolonged period of time. This leads to the extreme thinking that can make coping with fertility problems all the more difficult. It’s common to experience thoughts such as: I can’t see my best friend now that she’s pregnant, if this next IVF cycle doesn’t work it never will; I’m going to leave my partner as I’ll get pregnant more easily with somebody else; it’s because I drank coffee that my fertility treatment failed; I’m being punished for a termination I had years ago…
‘Extreme thinking’ often leads to yet more stress, be that due to feelings of guilt or the impact of decisions or actions made from a highly emotive and unreasoned position.
The reasons why stress is a contributing factor for fertility problems are complex and multiple. It is helpful to understand that stress can disturb the balance of our hormonal systems and our body’s ability to conceive. It is helpful to understand that our brain’s response to stress can lead to extreme thinking. Extreme thinking can increase the pressure we feel when trying to conceive. Feeling under pressure leads to more stress… stress leads to physical responses that affect fertility… and so the cycle goes on.
Reducing your stress levels is one of the most beneficial and empowering things you can do for your fertility. Using hypnosis and mind-body techniques I can support you to achieve this.
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