Hypnosis brings double joy for childless couple.
Mrs Theresa Jones and her husband Mike, from Pershore, Worcestershire, are expecting their babies in September after hypnosis sessions at the Midland Fertility Services in Aldridge, Walsall.
During their attempts to have children, the couple spent pounds 6,000 and unsuccessfully tried three different techniques to get pregnant, including intra cyto plasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a sperm is injected into an egg and then implanted.
Mrs Jones, aged 34, said they were desperate to have children and the problems they faced had a huge impact on their lives.
She said: "It affected my relationship with my partner, my friends, family and even strangers. I felt I was a failure as a woman and it had a terrible effect on my self confidence.
"We got so desperate we would try anything. When my consultant suggested hypnotism I thought it was the only way forward.
"The other treatments were getting so expensive and emotionally draining and we were running out of different ones to try."
The centre began hypnotising its patients last November in an attempt to relax them. So far, 24 couples have been hypnotised by medical director Dr Peter Bromwich and the success rate has soared to two thirds - compared to the usual rate of 50 per cent.
He said: "Studies have shown that although fertility centres have some success, conception rates are lower than elsewhere. That's because when couples come to us they are often very stressed about not being able to have children, and people who are stres sed find it harder to conceive.
"But we find that if they are hypnotised then they are relaxed, and many of the problems they experience are reduced."
Dr Bromwich learnt how to hypnotise people at a course run by the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis. Now other gynaecologists at the privately-run centre are to start courses in an attempt to boost their success rate.
"I don't actually hypnotise anyone but get them to hypnotise themselves by using soothing words and actions," said Dr Bromwich. "This enables someone to go into a trance-like state, after which they are calmed.
"I don't use a pendulum or anything like that. They are just props used by stage hypnotists and would not work. Hypnotism is really simple, and at one basic level it is like the comforting words you say to a baby when they wake up crying in the night."
In the procedure, Dr Bromwich hypnotises both partners, as he says it is important that both are relaxed.
Mrs Jones, who works for the national infertility support network Child, went for two sessions. She was asked to think of somewhere nice by Dr Bromwich, who spoke soothing words and afterwards she felt calm.
"We tried the ICSI treatment again and within two weeks I was pregnant. I still cannot believe it. Mike was shocked at first, but now we are very very happy," said Mrs Jones.
A spokesman for the British Hypnotherapist Association said hypnosis could be useful in helping couples with fertility problems.
He said: "Where couples have trouble conceiving because of psychological problems, hypnotherapy can help."