Psychological infertility

Infertility can be caused by psychological factors – in several ways. The link between mind and body is well known – in extreme cases, people can develop actual physical or sensory conditions that have a psychological cause (eg paralysis of the whole body or a part, deafness, blindness, etc). It is not surprising then that all the finely tuned aspects of the reproductive cycle can also be influenced by the mind.

At a simple psychological level, some women unwittingly sabotage pregnancy by quite unconsciously avoiding sex at the most fertile time. It may go back to an event from childhood. For example, a young girl may be told that a grandmother with a tumour has ‘something growing in her’. The child then witnesses the decline and death of the grandmother. At a deep level, the girl may grow up with the unconscious thought that ‘having something growing inside you means something bad will happen’. The association with a growing foetus only becomes apparent in hypnotherapy. Here, again, there is a ‘stuck’ part of the person that is influencing adult behaviour. The child’s erroneous thoughts have not been switched off. The conscious recognition of that simple cause maybe hugely therapeutic. Hypnotic suggestion may then be given in an attempt to enhance normal reproductive functioning and bring about the right frame of mind.

Stress can affect people powerfully. It does not only mentally incapacitate – physical disorders may emerge. It appears that in some couples, the overwhelming desire to have a baby causes a counter-productive amount of anxiety that in fact reduces fertility. There are very many cases where couples, after spending a lot of money on medical fertility procedures that have not succeeded, ‘give up’ – at which point conception happens naturally.

Stress in the form of social pressure acts in some cultures where having babies is a major expectation. Cases of false pregnancy can arise – having a purely psychological basis. Occasionally, too, the father or other family member takes on the imagined symptoms of pregnancy and labour!


We offer treatment for psychological infertility in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.