Visualisation and IVF success

I apologise in advance for the rant, but I have come across a few people recently promoting the idea that they can somehow change your mindset, freeing you up to think positively and get pregnant.  Of course, we’ve all heard of the placebo effect, and yes we know that our minds do influence our health, but the idea that you can guarantee IVF success by visualising yourself being pregnant is just nonsense.

I suppose you could say it doesn’t do any harm, but actually I think it does. Not only are people often paying for the services of those who are apparently freeing their minds to make them more fertile, they are also accepting the idea that they will be personally responsible for the failure or success of their fertility treatment. So, if your treatment doesn’t work, it wasn’t down to possible problems with the eggs or sperm, it wasn’t because the embryos didn’t flourish or implant, it wasn’t anything to do with your age, your hormones or your medical condition – it’s your fault for not visualising yourself sufficiently pregnant.

I’m not against alternative treatments or mind-body sessions, and I think complementary therapies can be helpful to those going through fertility treatment but you should be very, very wary of anyone who makes extravagant claims about what they can do and particularly those who suggest that they can influence the outcome of your treatment.  Of course, some people who go to them will be successful because 25% of IVF cycles result in a live birth, but many others won’t – and it makes me angry that anyone should suggest that this might be their own fault.