Studies Show

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Embryo Transfer

A study of the impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer (ET) found that the use of hypnosis during ET may significantly improve the IVF/ET cycle outcome in terms of increased implantation and clinical pregnancy rates. The conception rate was double for the hypnosis group as compared with those who underwent IVF without hypnosis. Fertility & Sterility (2006).

Enhancing Fertility

A study of the practical uses of clinical hypnosis in enhancing fertility, healthy pregnancy, and childbirth found hypnosis to be an effective method to reduce women’s stress, enhance feelings of control, as well as to manage psycho-emotional issues that may be contributing to infertility. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2009).

Impact of Infertility Diagnosis

A study of the effects of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) on infertility found hypnosis to be helpful in dealing with the impact of the infertility diagnosis, the effects of assisted reproductive technology (ART), emotional distress, and depression. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014).

Viable Treatment for Infertility

A recent study found hypnosis to be a viable treatment for infertility in women. The majority of clients presented with exceptionally high mental/emotional anxieties upon which hypnosis appears to have had a profound effect. 100% of clients reviewed reported significant improvement following their first hypnotherapy session, 88.88% of which were self-proclaimed “Type A” personalities. Regis CCLS (2016).

Mind-Body Program

A study published in the Journal of the American Women’s Association (1999) found that 42% of 132 infertile women in a mind/body program which used hypnosis techniques including guided imagery and progressive relaxation, conceived within six months of completing it. A follow-up study found that 55% of previously infertile women who regularly utilized such a mind-body program conceived, compared to 20% of the control group who did not. Fertility and Sterility (2000). These results have inspired more research into the effects of hypnosis upon infertility. 

IVF Success

A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests that because 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. 

Anxiety and Depression

In a longitudinal, prospective study on emotional adjustment before, during, and after consecutive fertility treatment cycles, women showed an increase in both anxiety and depression after unsuccessful treatment and a decrease after successful treatment. Men showed no change in anxiety or depression following either successful or unsuccessful treatment. Women showed no recovery in the 6 months after unsuccessful treatment. Human Reproduction (2005).

Increased Viable Pregnancies

A study reported in Reproductive Endocrinology (2000) treated women who were in their second year of infertility and not yet depressed. The women who received group psychological interventions to stem the tide of depression caused by infertility had significantly increased viable pregnancies compared to those who did not receive preventative treatment for depression.

Women with Depression

A study found a 60% viable pregnancy rate within six months for women with depression who received treatment, contrasting with 24% when depression went untreated. Journal of American Women’s Association (1999).

History of Depressive Symptoms

Women with a history of depressive symptoms reported twice the rate of subsequent infertility. Psychosomatic Medicine (1995).

Second IVF Cycle

A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that women who experienced depression following the failure of their first IVF had much lower pregnancy rates than their non-depressed counterparts during their second IVF cycle. 

Postpartum Depression

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (2007) found hypnotherapy to be successfully utilized in the treatment of postpartum depression.

Acute Stress Disorder

A 2007 study found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to be not only a reliable alternative to pharmacotherapy but also superior to fluoxetine in the resolution or reducing of depression and anxiety of infertile women. 


  • Findings of a study of the additive benefit of hypnosis and CBT in treating acute stress disorder suggested that hypnosis may have use in facilitating the treatment effects of CBT for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (2005).

Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

A Viennese study showed that hypnotherapy could be an efficacious and time-saving treatment option that also avoids the pitfalls of pharmacological modalities for women with functional hypothalamic (secondary) amenorrhea (FHA). 12 patients received one hypnotherapy session and were observed for 12 weeks. 75% (9/12) of the women resumed menstruation within 12 weeks. All of the patients, including those who did not menstruate, reported several beneficial side effects such as increased general well-being and increased self-confidence. Fertility and Sterility (2003).

  • According to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, secondary amenorrhea can be caused by emotional and physical stress (2019).
  • The Mayo Clinic reports that mental stress can impair/stop ovulation and menstruation by altering the functioning of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, controls the hormones that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. Regular menstrual periods typically resume following stress reduction.

Fertility Up by 80%

According to Science Beta (2008) in one study fertility rates went up by 80% for women who actively reduced stress.

Stress in Pregnancy

A study published in Scientific Reports(2017) found support for the belief that psychological stress in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. 

Time-to-Pregnancy

According to Oxford’s journal Human Reproduction (2014), higher levels of stress are associated with a longer time-to-pregnancy (TTP) and increased risk of infertility.

Impact of Stress

According to a review on the impact of stress on body functions, many disorders originate from stress, especially if the stress is severe and prolonged. Stress negatively impacts bodily systems including the endocrine, immune, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular. Even a minimal amount of stress can activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. EXCLI Journal (2017).

Fetal Development

According to a study on balancing homeostasis and infertility, activation of the HPA axis by various stressors inhibits reproductive function and can alter fetal development. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2017).

Egg Quality

A study showed that psychological stress can impact female reproduction including ovary, follicle and oocyte. Increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol reduce estradiol production which results in deterioration of egg quality. Journal of Biomedical Science(2016).

Fear of Labor and Birth

According to the March of Dimes (2012), high levels of stress (including physical discomfort or mood swings during pregnancy, fear of labor and birth, job pressures, financial worries, etc., as well as anxiety, depression, and PTSD) can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (weighing less than 5½ pounds).

Sperm Quality

According to a 2014 study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, psychological stress is harmful to the quality of sperm and semen. Stress affects its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize an egg. 

Erectile Dysfunction

According to a 2016 article published on Healthline, studies show that psychological factors including stress and anxiety are the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. 

Safe Alternative

A 2010 study found that hypnosis represents a rapid, cost-effective, nonaddictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety-related conditions.

Psychological

According to a 2009 article published in Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing the heartache resulting from infertility is often “exacerbated by the physical and emotional rigors” of treatment and “may exact a huge psychological toll” on patients.