For brevity I am going to use the term ‘IVF’ as a generic term for fertility treatment, including ICSI, donor egg/sperm etc.
There are three major factors that can increase IVF success rate.
- The quality of the embryo(s).
- The uterine environment the embryo(s) is/are being placed into.
- The embryo-uterus interaction.
With fertility treatment there can be a lot of focus on the quality of the embryo as an indicator to IVF success. However, embryo quality is only one of the three factors – and the one over which you don’t have much control.
So, what can you do about the other two factors to increase your chances of IVF success?
One of my most popular blog entries was about positive affirmations. I believe visualisations are far more powerful than positive affirmations because when you visualise, you shift from using your conscious mind to your unconscious mind. Think of your imagination as a gateway to your unconscious mind, which controls all your bodily functions including balancing the delicate cocktail of fertility hormones required for fertility treatment and success with IVF.
The mind and body are an amazing natural healing machine. Look at how a cut heals itself without us doing anything, or how bones knit together. You can direct and guide this power to let your unconscious mind know what you want it to do. You can speed up the rate of healing, something I’ve done many times.
You can use the power of visualisations to prepare your body for the process. To do this, you imagine the body working with the medication to create the most healthy environment for your embryo(s); you visualise your body embracing the medication and your embryo(s) thriving.
One of my previous clients had collected a low number of high quality eggs on her first IVF. We created some visualisations for her to listen to and use for her next cycle. She went on to harvest a significantly larger number of high quality eggs at her next IVF cycle (which was a success). Were the visualisations the only factor that made a difference? Probably not, but she doesn’t know or care; she now has a beautiful daughter.
For more details on how and what to visualise, download my free Getting Started Pack here. The ebook contains a section on visualisation for your fertility treatment success.
Have a relaxed embryo transfer
A study carried out by a hospital in Israel looked at the correlation between a patient’s depth of relaxation during embryo transfer and IVF success rate. The thinking behind the study was that the more relaxed the patient, the more relaxed her uterus would be, which may have a positive effect on the embryo-uterus interaction. The study tested various relaxation approaches from hypnosis to medication.
The patients who underwent hypnosis during their treatment were the most relaxed. These patients had double the IVF success rate compared to the control group (who didn’t have any form of relaxation).
This is why my Assisted Conception programme includes a track you can use for embryo transfer. Most clinics allow patients to take an mp3 player into the procedure, so use something you find relaxing to listen to. Anything has got to be better than the trashy radio station that was blaring out in one clinic I visited!
Ensure you are not rushed before or after the treatment. Protect your space; it’s your body and your mind.
Turn the Two Week Wait into a Two Week Thrive
Most patients find that the two week wait is the most stressful element of the whole IVF treatment. This is usually because they feel isolated and alone. The clinic has done all they can and it is now down to the patient. Has it worked? So much energy, time and money has gone in to this moment, but you won’t know for a couple of weeks.
This is the time when the uterus interacts with the embryo. Your uterus literally embraces the embryo, shifting the stromal cells to envelop it. If you are stressed, your body will prioritise ‘fight or flight’ survival mode over welcoming new life.
Stress is all future thinking. Has the IVF treatment been successful? Am I pregnant? Stress means believing that our state of wellbeing is dependent on something in the future. Our thoughts go in to overdrive, working out what we need to do to make it happen, or what we’ll do if it doesn’t. All future thinking. The only moment that exists is the present moment. Nothing can predict the pregnancy test result and whether the IVF has been successful or not.
We are designed to live in the moment, not the future. Wellbeing means being in the moment. Come back to the here and now. Recognise, from the moment of embryo transfer, that you are pregnant. Be with yourself and your body in that. Visualise your body doing exactly what you want it to do. This can help you turn the Two Week Wait in to a Two Week Thrive.
I created a resource to help you do just that, turn the Two Week Wait in to a Two Week Thrive. It’s a printable journal to help you stay present in each day. You can download it here.
To your IVF success
1. Levitas, E. et al, ‘Impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization–embryo transfer: a case-control study.’ Fertility and Sterility – Vol 85, Issue 5, (2006), 1404–1408