Hypnosis & fertility research


Whilst research into the value of hypnosis in fertility is still in its infancy, preliminary research suggests that it may be a very effective addition to fertility treatments. Research already shows the value of hypnosis in alleviating anxiety (see Hypnosis & anxiety research), whilst the negative impact on stress on fertility is gaining more attention.

Research published in Fertility and Sterility (2005) found that women with the highest levels of stress ovulated 20% fewer eggs compared with women who were less stressed. 

Meanwhile in 2006, the Israel Academic Fertility and IVF unit conducted a study published in the American Medical Journal which found that:

“185 infertile women … saw their success rate of IVF double in the test group from 14% to 28% when the subjects underwent hypnosis during implantation.”

It was also found that 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).

Furthermore, research into self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth continues to support the large amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting that hypnosis aids a less painful childbirth experience (Cyna, et. al (2005), Cyna, et al (2006)).



Cyna, A.M., Andrew, M.I., Mcauliffe, G.L. Antenatal hypnosis for labour analgesia. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2005;14:365–366.

Cyna, A.M., Andrew, M.I., Mcauliffe, G.L. Antenatal self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth: a pilot study. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2006;34:464–469.

Cyna, A.M., Mcauliffe, G.L., Andrew, M.I. Hypnosis for pain relief in labour and childbirth: a systematic review. Br J Anaesth. 2004;93:505–511.

Gottesfeld, M.L. Treatment of vaginismus by psychotherapy with adjunctive hypnosis. Am J Clin Hypn. 1978;20:272–277.

Green, R.F. Hypnosis and homeostasis between mother and child. J Indiana State Med Assoc. 1973;66:171–172.

Harmon, T.M., Hynan, M.T., Tyre, T.E. Improved obstetric outcomes using hypnotic analgesia and skill mastery combined with childbirth education. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1990;58:525–530.

Jallo, N., Bourguignon, C., Taylor, A.G., Utz, S.W. Stress management during pregnancy: designing and evaluating a mind-body intervention. Fam Community Health. 2008;31:190–203.

Johnson, J.M. Teaching self-hypnosis in pregnancy, labor, and delivery. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 1980;5:98–101.

Levitas, E., Parmet, A., Lunenfeld, E., Bentov, Y., Burstein, E., Friger, M. et al, Impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer: a case-control study. Fertil Steril. 2006;85:1404–1408.

Linden, W. Autogenic training: a narrative and quantitative review of clinical outcome. Biofeedback Self Regul. 1994;19:227–264.

Mellgren, A. Hypnosis with posthypnotic suggestion in the preparation of mother for laborCesk Gynekol. 1970;35:224–227.

Michael, A.M. Hypnosis in childbirth. Br Med J. 1952;1:734–737.

O'Moore, A.M., O'Moore, R.R., Harrison, R.F., Murphy, G., Carruthers, M.E. Psychosomatic aspects in idiopathic infertility: effects of treatment with autogenic training. J Psychosom Res. 1983;27:145–151.

Smith, C.H. Acute pregnancy-associated hypertension treated with hypnosis: a case report. Am J Clin Hypn. 1989;31:209–211.

Stanford, J.B. Hypnosis for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 1994;49:1736.

Valbo, A., Eide, T. Smoking cessation in pregnancy: the effect of hypnosis in a randomized study. Addict Behav. 1996;21:29–35.