Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask me if I fear I’ve missed the baby boat
Everyone knows that the day you turn 35, any remaining eggs shrivel up and die, right? (That’s if you’re blessed enough to have any left.)
No wonder assisted reproduction is at an all-time high as more and more silly, self-centred women wait till way too late to do it naturally.
IVF is now standard procedure.
It’s become the preferred method of conception. With one in five couples struggling to get pregnant, infertility has become an epidemic.
But what if it’s all in the mind?
Hypnotherapy is now becoming quite the thing in helping women conceive.
Your subconscious mind, say hypnotherapists, is the greatest impediment to getting pregnant, especially when there’s no physical explanation.
Great. Just another thing to add to the ovulation kits, fertility drugs, sex on cue, pregnancy tests and potential crushing disappointment that make up the minefield of unexplained infertility.
As Annarosa Berman writes in her book, Sex At 6pm, “Tomorrow I’ll have ablood test, and a few days after that I’ll be back on hormone injections, which will bring about the end of civilisation as we know it.
“One moment, I’ll be arguing with Charles over names for the baby; the next, I’ll be scanning the yellow pages fora clairvoyant I can bribe to reassure me it’s all going to work out.”
Lynsi Eastburn, the founder of “hypno-fertility”, believes the huge increase in IVF, designed to give couples options, is causing the body to forget how it’s supposed to be done.
One of her clients was given IVF as a wedding present from her in-laws, just like her two sisters-in-law before her. She’s 26!
With pressure like that, it’s a bit rich to conceive the old-fashioned way.
The reproductive system is the body’s most expendable, the first to shut down in the face of perceived danger such as stress or worry.
Just as we demand immediate gratification in every other area of our lives, so too instant babies, exerting unattainable demands on nature’s will.
There’s apparently a reality-TV show in the US where cameras track women on IVF, with the winner the first to conceive – the inference being that it’sthe woman’s fault if she’s unable.
But maybe she’s resisting because ofdeep-seated fears around motherhood or unresolved issues over a teenage abortion or sexual abuse.
That’s where hypno-fertility comes in. Lynsi Eastburn, author of It’s Conceivable!, trains hypnotherapists to help women override their baby blocks.
It’s also claimed to work for men, using suggestion to strengthen their sperm, and even for single people, breaking down the barriers to attracting the ideal father or mother to your children.
There are nay-sayers, of course, especially those yearning for a baby tono avail. The medical profession remains circumspect, especially as there’s no hard evidence.
But if all else fails, what harm is there in giving it a whirl? As it says in Sex At 6pm: “I’ve tried telling myself not to hope, yet no hope is even bleaker than crushed hope. So you hope.”
This column appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on on April 29th, 2007