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Fertility Research

How can Hypnotherapy Help you Conceive?

Trying to conceive, and any treatments required, can be stressful, invasive, and take a toll on your wellbeing.  However, numerous studies have explored the impact of hypnotherapy and mind-body programs on fertility outcomes, showing that not only can hypnotherapy increase the chances of pregnancy, but it can also help reduce stress, improve reproductive functioning, and enhance emotional wellbeing:

Hypnotherapy can double IVF success

In this study the group of women who received hypnosis before and during IVF embryo implantation achieved a remarkable 53% pregnancy rate and experienced reduced anxiety levels during the fertility treatment process.  The group who did not receive hypnotherapy had a 30% pregnancy rate. (Levitas, 2006)

Hypnotherapy significantly improves pregnancy success rates and reproductive health

A study of women who had struggled with infertility for 2-12 years found that after an average of nine hypnotherapy sessions 65% went on to have successful full-term pregnancies, and 42% (including several who didn't achieve pregnancy during the study) reported improvements in menstrual and gynaecological issues (Quinn & Parson, 1994)

Hypnotherapy can reduce stress, enhance feelings of control and manage issues that may be contributing to infertility 

Exploring clinical hypnotherapy as a method to enhance fertility, this study found that hypnotherapy can reduce stress, enhance feelings of control, as well as manage psycho-emotional issues that may be contributing to infertility (James, 2009)

Mind-Body programs with relaxation training and emotional wellbeing techniques can significantly increase success rate of IVF

Led by Alice Domar, this study reveals that participating in a mind/body program like self-hypnosis or meditation during IVF treatment significantly boosts pregnancy rates.  Alice Domar has conducted extensive research into stress and fertility, and is considered a pioneer of mind-body medicine research.  This study showed that women who practiced stress reduction and emotional wellbeing techniques had a success rate of 52% compared to 20% in the control group. These findings suggest a strong connection between stress levels and IVF outcomes, emphasizing the potential benefits of therapies that focus on stress reduction and emotional wellbeing (Domar et al, 2011)

Stress hormones can inhibit hormones crucial to fertility, and psychological interventions can restore ovarian function

This study showed that cortisol (a primary stress hormone) can inhibit the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which can negatively affect ovulation and menstrual cycles.  It went on to examine women suffering from amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation) and found that 80% of the women who received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) started to ovulate again, compared to 25% in the control group, and follow-up tests showed lower cortisol levels and higher GnRH.  (Berga & Loucks, 2006)

Mind-Body programs can alleviate anxiety and depression, and increase pregnancy rates in infertile woman

Analysing the effects of the mind–body programs (including hypnosis) on anxiety, depression, quality of life, and pregnancy rates in infertile women, the researchers found that mind-body programs positively affect the pregnancy rate, relieve anxiety and depression, and improve quality of life. (Ha & Ban,2021)

Stress significantly reduces probability of conception during the fertile window - Relax is key

Stress biomarkers were measured in women trying to conceive, with researchers finding stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window, leading them to conclude that relaxation and minimising stressors play a key role in achieving pregnancy. (Louis et al, 2011)  

Mind Stress can increase the time it takes to get pregnant, and increase the risk of infertility 

This study concluded that high levels of stress were associated with longer time-to-pregnancy and increased infertility risk, and that it would be prudent to consider the role of stress for couples who are failing to get pregnant despite 6 months or longer of targeted (in the fertile window) intercourse. (Lynch et al, 2014)


Berga, S.L. & Loucks, T.L. (2006), “Use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1092, pp 114-129

Domar, A.D., Rooney, K.L., Wiegand, B., Oray, E.J, Alper, B.M., & Nikolovski, J. (2011) Impact of a group mind/body intervention on pregnancy rates in IVF patients.  In Vitro Fertilization, Vol 95 (7) pp2269-2273

James, U. (2009) “Practical uses of clinical hypnosis in enhancing fertility, healthy pregnancy and childbirth”.  Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15(4), pp. 239-241

Levitas E, Parmet A, Lunenfeld E, Bentov Y, Burstein E, Friger M, Potashnik G. (2006) “Impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer: a case-control study”. Fertility and Sterility. May;85(5), pp1404-1408

Louis, G. M., Lum, K. J., Sundaram, R., Chen, Z., Kim, S., Lynch, C. D., Schisterman, E. F., & Pyper, C. (2011). “Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation”.  Fertility and sterility, 95(7), pp2184–2189

Lynch, C.D, Sundaram, R., Maisog, J.M., Sweeney, A.M., & Buck Louis, G.M. (2014) “Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a couple-based prospective cohort study – the LIFE study”. Human Reproduction, Vol 29 (5) pp1067-1075

Quinn, P. D. R and Parson, M. (1994) “Conceptions of the mind – the role of hypnotherapy interventions in medically-unexplained, functional and psychosomatic infertility”.  European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 4(1) pp8-17

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