Infertility! How Can Hypnotherapy Help?
When we are taught Sex Education at school or by our parents a lot of the emphasis seems to be on how not to get pregnant. So, the general assumption might be that it should be incredibly easy to get pregnant.
This is probably more the case when we are young and fecund but now many women and couples leave the baby making stage until they have established their adult life and career.
A lot people party their way through their twenties and it is often only when the biological imperative kicks in and reminds us that we are here to procreate, that we start being more self-aware and health conscious.
A woman is born with a finite number of eggs. A female fetus of 20 weeks will have about 7 million eggs but by the time that baby is born she will only have about 600,000. By puberty, that figure is down to about 400,000. Once a girl starts menstruating her ovaries will release one of those eggs about every 28 days. So, for women the fecundity reduces year on year.
A man will produce roughly 525 billion sperm cells in a lifetime and shed at least one billion of them per month. A healthy adult male can release between 40 million to 1.2 billion sperm cells in a single ejaculation. However, these sperm have to be able to swim very hard and fight their way through to the egg in order to fertilize it. So, it is equally as important for men to take care of themselves if they want to be Fathers. However, men continue to produce new sperm and if they look after themselves in later life could continue to have good healthy sperm.
To demonstrate the epic journey a single sperm must take, we know that when semen is ejaculated into the woman’s vagina there will be millions of sperm in the fluid. These sperm, by an amazing force of nature, automatically swim towards the cervix but a lot of them will die on way. The ones that do make it through the cervix into the uterus then have to dodge the protective immune system that might view them as alien invaders and overpower them. Only the strongest sperm will enter the fallopian tube and race towards the ovary to try and fertilise the egg. There will be many obstacles on the way. It is interesting fact that the human egg is the largest single human cell and the sperm is the smallest single human cell.
Many younger people will enjoy sexual intimacy without necessarily thinking about baby making so they are possibly more relaxed in the process. When people start wanting to build a family later there may be more of a sense of urgency as they are working to a timetable of their life.
Once people start making plans about having a family it is known that about 1 in 6 around the world will seek advice if they think they are having difficulty. Perhaps, it is not as easy as they thought after years of contraception and trying not to get pregnant, and time is of the essence. The time it takes to conceive naturally will vary and age can be an important factor. Both a woman’s and (to a lesser extent) a man’s fertility will gradually decline with age.
Fertility problems for women could occur for several reasons: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), STDs (sexually transmitted disease), Endometriosis, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes and there could be other physiological causes.
Fertility problems for men could be caused by of low quantity or quality of sperm.
For nearly a quarter of people there may be no obvious physiological reason for their fertility problems. This is known as ‘unexplained infertility’.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, I help people overcome this diagnosis 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, 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. The underlying theme of hypnosis is calmness confidence and relaxation coupled with self-belief and good self-image. This can help the couples separately or jointly feel more relaxed and trust themselves and their partners.
It is often said that this type of infertility is subject to the law of ‘reversed affect’. 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 driving forces can help people achieve their goals, feel stronger and more determined to prevail. We also know that when people relax about conception it is much easier to get pregnant.
If after medical tests a reason for infertility is found in the woman or the man, or both they may be offered IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation). People living in the right postcode may be offered an opportunity to have the treatment free on the NHS. Others are not so lucky and will have to fund the treatment themselves. This can run into thousands of pounds and put extra stress on a relationship.
Where women and couples find themselves going down the IVF route I offer help and support and self-belief. The IVF journey can be quite challenging for women and their partners. The woman is the subject of many intimate examinations and tests. Once the programme is in place the woman must follow a protocol and process which will involve tests, scans and hormone injections. A lot of people have a fear of medical procedures and hypnosis is very powerful to help them deal with this.
Last month I was invited to Thames Fertility in Maidenhead where the embryologists showed me the whole process of IVF In Vitro Fertilisation. It was very humbling and amazing to see how science can help nature in a very ethical and caring way. It is clear to see that being able to stay relaxed throughout the treatment would be hugely beneficial.
If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help with Infertility or the IVF process please contact Sue Turner 07702939020
National Fertility Week runs from 28th October to 3rd of November. You will find a lot of specialist knowledge at the Fertility Show at Olympia on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November.