ecently a new fertility client shared with me that her IVF doctor told her that stress had nothing to do with conceiving a child and pregnancy. I was taken aback because I was sure that doctors had come further along than that!! Are we not continually barraged with data about how stress affects our health on every level?
To address this issue in more biologic/medical terminology, let’s speak for a moment about the Hypothalamus, the neural center at the base of the brain linked to the pituitary gland. It controls the flow of hormones in the body. The hypothalamus is sensitive to stress and acts as a bridge between the emotional and physical, turning emotional messages into physical responses that affect hormone levels. Because the hypothalamus helps regulate hormonal levels and the pituitary gland regulates both how much of a hormone is made and how much is released in the body, their alteration can have significant effects on the hormonal balance necessary for ovulation, fertilization, tubal functioning or even successful implantation of the egg once it reaches the uterus..
The neurochemical onslaught that is associated with the “fight or flight” response (sympathetic state) in all human bodies, and which can be triggered by a threat to self-esteem or dignity, results in contraction of the muscles, an acceleration of the cardiovascular system, and the release of “emergency” hormones throughout the body. The body is on alert, energy is directed toward the areas needed for actual “fight” or “flight” such as the arms and legs, and away from areas the brain considers less important. Unfortunately, the reproductive system is the most expendable. Once a chronic imbalance of the autonomic nervous system is created, only the regular and consistent practice of relaxation will facilitate the restoration of the parasympathetic nervous system. Hypnofertility provides an effective means of establishing that restoration and enables women to establish the level of safety essential for reproduction to occur.