Unexplained infertility is a very interesting subject because it’s often not written about or spoken about, and often people struggle to know what to do or where to get advice if they’ve been ‘diagnosed’ with unexplained infertility.
Speaking from both personal and professional experience it can be really tough to have unexplained infertility. If you’ve got a diagnosis, whether it’s fertility or any kind of medical condition, you know what to focus on. You have a treatment plan or things you can do to improve the situation. Not knowing what you do or if anything can be done can leave people feeling distressed and fearful. It can also lead to overwhelm, being quite obsessive about trying everything and anything to improve the situation, a feeling of not being in control. And certainly, for many of my clients, they like to feel in control of life.
Unexplained infertility is also more common than people think. It’s very difficult to put a number on it because it depends on the definition of unexplained but the last time I looked at some of the stats from the HFEA (the UK ‘s governing body overseeing fertility clinics) it was 30% of all fertility cases. What was interesting is that it was on the increase, over about 10 years from about 18% to 30%.
Why is unexplained infertility on the increase? I would say it’s because our lifestyle is getting more stressful. I truly believe that too many people go through treatments unnecessarily because the mind and emotions are not factored in. My wife and I were on the infertility conveyor belt. Thankfully, we got pregnant naturally against all odds just before starting ICSI. I also think the success rate of fertility treatment is unnecessarily low, again because the mind and emotions are not factored in.
So I think the unexplained infertility category or diagnosis is on the increase because we’re living in a more stressful environment. I think there’s more dis-ease in society and people as a whole. Dis-ease, striving to get to where they think they need to be, to have ease, whether it’s more financial security or even having the baby, the family they so desire.
This was the cause of my infertility and a huge factor in my wife’s. I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I did my personal-development journey 8 years into our infertility journey when I hit rock bottom. I can look back and see that is was because I fell into more healthy psychological state things just happened. It’s why you hear stories of couples having a baby after they give up trying. They’ve let go of the fear of it not happening.
Given the mind and body are one system with unexplained infertility there is no medical diagnosis, but has anyone looked for a psychological diagnosis? There’s a growing body of research that shows how stress can impact fertility. There are decades of research on how our mind affects our body. That’s undeniable. Boston IVF carried out a study with Harvard University. They had a bunch of people going through IVF as a control group and a bunch of people going through IVF alongside a mind-body program. The success rates the IVF treatments of those who went through the mind-body program alongside IVF was double the control group who just did IVF. I’ve seen that with my clients. Which is why I do what I do.
There are different levels of psychological intervention. One is maybe positive thinking or positive affirmations. I’ve written and recorded videos about my thoughts on positive thinking. I believe it generally doesn’t work. It’s trying to persuade yourself of something deep down you don’t truly believe, and that can actually reinforce the part of you that doesn’t truly believe it. It says ‘yeah, yeah but not really’ and inadvertently you can be reinforcing the part of you that doesn’t truly believe it.
Visualisations are quite common. I’m a big fan of visualisations. But if there’s an undercurrent of fear of not getting pregnant that’s going to undermine the success of using visualisations. Hypnosis can make visualisations in more impactful. If you wrap hypnotic language around visualisations it can be even more effective because your unconscious mind does control all your bodily functions and you can guide it and do what you want it to do.
I think ultimately what undermines any approach to improving our fertility is fear. The fear of never having a baby.
This fear is often grounded in some kind of insecurity, or ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t deserve’, ‘I’m not loved or lovable’ thinking. Ultimately to let go of the fear it’s about letting go of the limiting beliefs & stories part of us believes about ourselves.
So there are different levels of psychological work we can do and the deeper we go and I think the more effective it can be to find that state of flow. And the more we find psychological flow the more our body is going to flow as it’s designed to.
Try saying this phrase out loud and listen to your internal response. The phrase is ‘I accept myself as I am today’. What are your thoughts or feelings in response to that? Do you believe it? Is a little part of you saying ‘no, not really’?
Sometimes it can highlight that a little part of you may judge, criticise or be hard on you. And that part of you doesn’t truly love and accept who you are in this moment.
And if you’re not sure, get in contact. I had a client, Sarah, who contacted me before she became a client. She said, ‘I have unexplained infertility but I’m not sure whether I have a psychological block or not. I’m a pretty positive person but there might be something I don’t know. Can we have a conversation to see if there is something?’ So we did. Within about 20-25 minutes she was in tears because we’ve just pinpointed the limiting belief she had about herself that she wasn’t aware was there but she could see clearly how it was impacting her chances of getting pregnant. When it came to light. It also helped her understand what she held herself back in other areas of her life.
So if you think there’s some kind of limiting belief or some disease within you, get in contact. If your not sure, get in contact. I’m very happy to help, to see if I can help you identify if there is something.
In summary, with the lack of diagnosis with unexplained infertility what I recommend is being open to looking for a diagnosis of a psychological block. Once you are aware of you can do something about it.
I truly believe too many couples go through fertility treatment unnecessarily and if you want to help to fast-track your journey to success, reach out.
Get in touch with Russell if you would like more information via his website www.thefertilemind.net