By Lauren Jacobs, Fertility and IVF Specialist 
One in seven UK couples will suffer the pain struggling to conceive or maintain a pregnancy. 
There are many factors responsible for infertility and a wealth of medical and holistic interventions designed to overcome it. Yet the role the mind and emotions play in infertility is often overlooked. 
This is a pity as our emotions can affect the intricate balance of hormones required for conception and pregnancy, which shows that our mind has a power over our body. Research studies and clinical experience prove that mind-body interventions for fertility can significantly increase rates of pregnancy. 
Here are three ways you can optimise your mind-body connection to increase your fertility. 

1. Visualise what you want - not what you don’t want 

Your mind impacts your body. Feeling embarrassed causes you to blush. If you imagine smelling a juicy lemon and then taking a big bite, then - if you’ve used your imagination fully - you will be salivating. Just because of how you engaged your mind. 
Every thought and feeling you have results in the release of ‘neuropeptides’ - messenger chemicals which tell your body how to function and which hormones to release. 
When you’ve suffered month after painful month of only seeing one line on the test stick and you’re worried that time might not be on your side, you may try to protect yourself from the heartbreak of yet more disappointment by telling yourself you won’t be pregnant again this month. 
While understandable, this is an unhelpful strategy. If it turns out not to be your month, or your cycle of IVF doesn’t result in a pregnancy, sadly, you will still be disappointed, even if you tried not to get your hopes up. 
It also sends unhelpful messages to your body, which is listening, and will react to what you think, feel and believe. 
Remember how the capillaries in your cheeks fill with blood when you feel embarrassed? Consider the impact on your body of you imagining that you are not pregnant and will get your period. 
Now imagine instead how your body might react to you visualising yourself as healthy, fully fertile, ready to allow an embryo to implant and support a healthy pregnancy. Big difference. 
So focus your thoughts and visualisations around what you want your body to do, to encourage a fertile mind-body connection. 

2. Manage stress effectively 

Studies show that women with the highest levels of stress hormones have a significantly greater risk of infertility and take longer to conceive, compared to those with the lowest levels. 
Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can negatively impact the parts of the body that control fertility, such as the hypothalamus, pituitary and reproductive organs, disrupting the delicate balance of hormones away from their optimal fertile levels. 
In times of high stress, your body will prioritise survival and functions that are not immediately vital, like reproduction, are down regulated when you are in ‘fight or flight’. Unfortunately, many of us are in fight or flight for much of the time, sometimes even without noticing, hampering conception. And there are few times in life that are more stressful and painful than when you’re struggling with infertility. 
So what to do? You could be surprised to hear you can exert more control than you might think. 
Therapy can help you change how you react to stressful events like the ups and downs of trying to conceive or fertility treatment, and learn more effective coping skills, so you feel more in control. 
There is also a powerful way to reduce the impact stress may be having on your fertility that you can implement today. 
Spending just 20-30 minutes in deep relaxation daily allows your body to switch off fertility-sapping fight or flight hormones and switch on your relaxation response, for a more fertility-friendly hormonal balance. 
Some people can achieve this relaxed state in meditation, others find hypnosis more effective. Whatever works best for you, doing this consistently every day makes for maximum benefit. 

3. Get out of your own way - resolve emotional blocks to pregnancy 

You’re desperate for a baby. You’ve done all the research and are following all the lifestyle advice. Maybe started fertility treatment like IVF. So the idea you could be unconsciously blocking yourself from having the baby you long for might sound ridiculous, or even insulting. 
Yet if there’s a conflict between what you consciously desire and what your subconscious is afraid of or believes to be true, pregnancy can be obstructed. 
About 1 in 4 couples experiencing infertility are diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility’, where no physical reasons have been found to explain why pregnancy has not happened. If the physiology is not the problem, we need to explore whether psychological and emotional factors are the cause. 
It is often seen in clinic that identifying and addressing underlying unresolved issues can be the key to finally clearing the way for a successful pregnancy, including where there are known physical factors. 
Blocks can relate to many issues, including worries about body changes, childbirth, or the impact of having a child on your career. They may also come from painful past experiences, such as miscarriage or sexual abuse. 
A therapist experienced in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy to enhance fertility can work with you supportively, to explore and resolve previously unaddressed issues, so they are no longer held in your body and can no longer interfere with conception. This can also transform the way that trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatment impacts on you emotionally and psychologically. 
Struggling to conceive can feel painful and disempowering. Your fertility can be improved through hypnotherapy for fertility, counselling or psychotherapy. 
If you would like to get emotional support or someone to help to optimise your mind-body connection for fertility, please contact us at the Wellbeing Centre London on 07942 626 960 for a free, confidential consultation to explore how we can meet your needs. Alternatively contact us on
Sessions are held Online or Face to Face at our therapy room in Putney Bridge, Fulham, South West London. 
Lauren Jacobs is a Hypnotherapist, Fertility, IVF and Anxiety Specialist 
Lauren helps women in their 30s and 40s to increase their fertility by helping them reduce stress, resolve subconscious blocks, and bring mind and body into balance. She also supports them through IVF process, which increases the success rate of pregnancies through IVF. 
Lauren trained in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (NCHP). 
She is also a Certified Hypnotic Fertility Practitioner and a Certified Hypnotic Birthing Practitioner, having undertaken further training with easibirthing®. 
She is a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and the National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy and Mindfulness (NSHPM). 
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