Many suffering through the intense emotions surrounding infertility find the greatest comfort in sharing feelings and experiences with others in similar situations. BabyZone's bulletin boards are a good places to meet other infertility patients.
Guided imagery is directing one's mind to visualize certain images for healing and relaxation. Several hospitals in Northern California are using guided imagery as a means for treating their patients. Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California, has even begun providing free-guided imagery sessions to its patients. The sessions, led by professional psychologists, teach the patients general relaxation imagery.
Following are two examples of guided imagery techniques for combating infertility:
- An infertile woman is asked to imagine her reproductive organs. She should see them as healthy and functioning. She should imagine the ovaries releasing the eggs, and the eggs traveling through the fallopian tubes and meeting up with healthy sperm. In other words, she is asked to visualize the entire conception process. This exercise should be repeated daily until it is like viewing a motion picture. The woman is to then play this picture in her mind during intercourse.
- The second technique requires the infertile partner to imagine a warm, bright light entering the top of his or her head and traveling down the body. The light is healing and all invasive. It eventually comes to the reproductive organs. At this point the partner should focus intensely on the area that is impeding fertility (the uterine lining for a woman afflicted with endometriosis, for example). The light provides healing and warmth.
Leslie Davenport, professor of holistic health and transpersonal psychology graduate programs at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California, believes there are two approaches to guided imagery: the directed or scripted approach and the receptive approach. In using the directed approach, the patient is given a template of the healthiest reproductive model—science and medicine based—and reminded how her body is supposed to work (the examples above illustrate the directed approach).