Caroline Cranshaw: How your subconscious could be blocking your fertility

There is nothing worse when you are finally ready to get pregnant and your body doesn’t play ball.

Of course, it’s important to investigate physical reasons fertility may be impacted such as hormone balance, blood sugar, and health issues like PCOS and endometriosis. However, it's also essential to make sure there aren't any subconscious blocks preventing someone from getting pregnant.

Let’s start with your mind … Your subconscious mind controls all of your involuntary bodily functions, your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your digestion as well as your reproductive system. You can’t physically control getting pregnant, you have sex and hope your body will or won’t allow it to happen.

We spend most of our lives trying not to get pregnant. We hear our mothers or other women saying kids ruined their lives, ruined their bodies, that pregnancy was awful, childbirth was the worst thing they have ever experienced and that their sex life hasn’t been the same since. All of this all goes into our subconscious, and our subconscious creates programs out of everything that we hear, and everything that happens to us. Like an operating system. Getting pregnant and having a baby can become a negative program, even if we don't realise it.

We may have trauma from childhood or our teenage years that is blocking us from getting pregnant. The thought of getting pregnant as a teenager strikes a paralysing fear to our core. We may have had a terrible relationship with our parents or a previous relationship, and so subconsciously you don't want to repeat that pattern. Even though consciously all we can think about is getting pregnant and having a baby.

We may be afraid we have left it too late; we could be telling ourselves that we are too old to have a baby. Or if we do get pregnant, there could be something wrong with it. Or with secondary infertility, you may have had a traumatic miscarriage, pregnancy or childbirth with your first child. Or your newborn baby screamed all the time and never slept. And you told yourself “This is hell!” And as a result, you have this conflict between the subconscious and conscious mind.

Consciously you want to have a baby, but if your subconscious mind doesn't believe it's safe for you to have a baby, it will do everything in its power to prevent that. That's your subconscious mind’s number one job - to keep you safe and alive.

Many studies have now proven that our subconscious thoughts and beliefs about conception, pregnancy, childbirth and raising kids can block our ability to conceive because of both conscious and subconscious negative beliefs and fears.

A recent study published in The British Medical Journal took a group of women who were experiencing difficulty with conceiving and split them into two groups. One group was taught to change their negative beliefs about their chances of conceiving with a positive idea that they would easily become pregnant. 50% became pregnant.

The other group, the control group of the study was given typical advice on how to get pregnant. Only 1 out of 5 conceived in the group that received the standard instructions. So, by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, the rate of pregnancy went up from 20% to 50%.

Harvard Medical School also ran a similar study with a group of women struggling to conceive and taught them to replace negative beliefs with positive ones. 55% of the group successfully had a baby compared to only 20% of the control group.

The importance of the female orgasm

Another question to ask is how good is your sex life? Sex can become very clinical when you're trying to get pregnant. They have found that female orgasm may be very important when it comes to fertility.

Women retain more semen when she has an orgasm either one minute before her partner and up to 45 minutes after. Therefore, more sperm makes it into the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes which increase your chances of getting pregnant. As a pig farmer, you can buy a vibrator to help with the process of artificial insemination. Farmers have found that if the female pig is sexually stimulated while being inseminated, she has more piglets.

The competition factor for men

Studies show for men, if they watch an “adult” movie with two or more men and one woman, their sperm motility goes up. Scientists call this the competition factor. This could be a problem for men getting their sperm tested, as they go to the clinic, and most of the time they watch pornography which can make their sperm motility test higher than it is in their normal life. For men, carrying a cellphone in your pocket can lower sperm count, sperm motility as well as testosterone levels.

If you have endometriosis

When I was trying to get pregnant with my second baby, I went to a naturopath since it seemed to be taking longer than I expected. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 16 and had issues with it ever since. I had 2 surgeries for it and didn’t think it was something I would ever be free of. When I told the naturopath I had it, she explained to me that she believed that endometriosis was caused by parasites.

I was horrified and offended. She asked me how I thought the uterine lining was travelling outside of the uterus? She asked if I grind my teeth (which I did) which is another sign of parasites. It actually made sense. I started a parasite cleanse that day not really believing I actually had parasites. But I did... the evidence was clear a few days later in the toilet. I freaked out but felt that worms were better out than in. I stopped grinding my teeth and I got pregnant the next month and have never had symptoms of endometriosis again.

Things you can do to help shift these issues

  • Write a list of everything you're afraid of in regard to getting pregnant, birth, and raising children. And then, right out another list of positive beliefs, which counteract the negative fears. Tell yourself those new positive beliefs every day.
  • Be careful with your words. Saying "Trying for a baby" implies you may fail. Say "I'm making a baby" instead or "We are creating a baby."

Caroline Cranshaw is a hypnotherapist, founder and trainer at the New Zealand Integrative Hypnotherapy Training Institute and the author of The Smoking Cure. Find out more about her at Listen to Caroline's new podcast WTF Stories & Advice.