Fertility Clinical Evidence
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What does the research say about the benefits of hypnosis and psychotherapy with fertility?
- Hypnosis increases chance of Natural Conception by 110%
Infertile women utilizing mind/body techniques such as hypnosis have a 42 – 55% conception rate as compared to 20% with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 1999 and The Journal of Fertility and Sterility 2000. (Studies conducted by Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Behavioural Medicine Program for Infertility in Boston)
- Hypnosis and natural conception
Hypnosis based on imagery and a relaxation strategy was successful in facilitating pregnancy. The treatment was considered to have resulted in beneficial modification of attitude, optimism, and mind-body interaction. The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. (Volume 38, Issue 1, 1995, 22-26): Hypnosis in the Treatment of Functional Infertility.
- The positive impact of mind/body interventions
In recent studies Journal of the American Medical Women’s (1999) & Journal Fertility and Sterility (2000) conducted at Harvard Medical School, 185 women who had been trying to conceive for one to two years were randomized into either a ten week mind/body group, a ten week support group, or a routine care control group. The birth rates during the one year follow-up period were as follows: mind body – 55%, support group 54%, and controls 20%.
In addition, the mind/body patients reported significantly greater psychological improvements than the support or control patients. In four other published studies on several hundred women with average infertility duration of 3.5 years, 42 percent conceived within six months of completing the program and there were significant decreases in all measured psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, and anger. Domar, A., Clapp, D., Slawsby, E., Dusek, J., Kessel, B., Freizinger, M (2000) Impact of group psychological interventions on pregnancy rates in infertile women. Fertility and Sterility Vol. 73, no.4 April
- Hypnosis Doubles IVF rate
According to a Israeli 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 Beersheva 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. He also hopes that this study will spark continued investigation into the use of hypnosis as an adjunct to fertility treatments. “The bottom line is I think it’s a good thing, it will work. Patients should be given the option if facilities are available”.
- IVF patients should be offered hypnosis
As mind/body programs are effective for reducing negative emotions that may impair IVF success, patients should be offered such a program in conjunction with IVF. Fertility and Sterility Journal.1998, vol. 69.
- Hypnosis beneficial to IVF procedures
Hypnosis as an adjunct to IVF procedures could be beneficial to those who are unable to conceive naturally. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. (Vol. 31, No. 2, 2003, 121-127): Recipe for a Miracle: Determination, Optimism, Medical Technology, and Hypnosis in IVF
- From Depression to Viable Pregnancy
Women with depression, when treated showed a 60% viable pregnancy rate within six months, contrasting with 24% when depression went untreated. Journal of American Medical Women’s Association, 1999, vol. 54.