Alan Patching and Associates’ Breakthrough IVF-Supporting Program Slashes Failure Rates and Saves Women Thousands of Dollars

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Australian pilot study and research provides insights into how controlling stress at five stages of an IVF cycle can enhance a woman’s chances of IVF success, and dramatically decrease the financial pressures of having a family.

Australian psychotherapist and researcher, Professor Alan Patching

I concluded there was a strong link between stress and difficulty getting pregnant and figured I might be able to do something to help women affected by it.

A pilot trial and 2016 research paper have shown that managing stress at five distinct stages across an IVF cycle can dramatically enhance a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, and potentially save her thousands of dollars.

The study, by Australian psychotherapist Alan Patching, saw four of eight participants falling pregnant on their first IVF cycle using his program, with a further three conceiving within three cycles. The eight participants had 51 previous IVF failures between them. Against the odds, a 43 year-old with 14 previous IVF failures fell pregnant on her first cycle using the pilot trial program.

All study participants reported experiencing stress from the ongoing costs of IVF, and one woman reported spending over $70,000 on IVF – in addition to government contributions.

Patching developed the program after an extensive review of scientific literature revealed strong debate concerning whether there was a correlation or definite causal link between stress and IVF failure. While this debate continued, there was little focus on formulating highly structured protocols for addressing the stress that women undergoing IVF often experience. His program addresses stress at five stages across the IVF cycle.

Patching stated, ‘My research revealed the amazing of maternal drive. Bottom line - women are not interested in any correlation versus causal link debate about stress effects – they simply want to do whatever they can to maximize their chance of having a baby. I concluded there was a strong link between stress and difficulty getting pregnant and figured I might be able to do something to help women affected by it.’

The program uses combinations of techniques from counseling, psychotherapy, creative visualization and clinical hypnotherapy to address stress and certain physiological factors as follows:

1.    PRE-CYCLE PHASE – To deal with issues arising out of life experience (including fear of childbirth) and from concerns regarding the IVF process itself
2.    PRE EGG-COLLECTION – To address concerns regarding the likelihood of pre-egg-collection IVF (medical) processes being unsuccessful
3.    EMBRYO TRANSFER PROTOCOL - To address physiological factors that can affecting the success of transfer of the embryo into the uterus
4.    PRE-TEST PHASE – To manage stress arising while women await their pregnancy test
5.    FIRST TRIMESTER – to manage stress arising from fear of miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy

The study also identified need for certain other clinical interventions in relation to IVF cycles including:

  • Help with alcohol intake control pre-conception
  • Help with smoking cessation pre-conception
  • Help for women suffering grief, guilt and/or stress after finding they are unable to conceive

A poster summarizing the pilot trial approach and findings can be found at

Patching conducted a qualitative research study following the pilot trial to gain comprehension of women’s experience of the trial program based on the participants’ narratives. Inter alia, this provided insight into the key stressors that impact women undertaking IVF. It also revealed that all participants who fell pregnant credited the program as being an important component of their conceiving. They also strongly recommended the program to other women facing fertility challenges.

Patching’s commitment to a stress management solution to help women enhance their prospects of IVF success was substantially endorsed between the pilot study and qualitative research stages of his work when a US based team led by Courtney Lynch produced ground breaking research (based on testing stress hormones in saliva) that proved stress increased both difficulty becoming pregnant (fecundity) and time to pregnancy. Lynch is director of reproductive epidemiology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine

A popular internet report on the Lynch research is available at

Patching has produced a summary of key stressors for women undergoing IVF as identified during his research, and this can be found at

Answers to the ten most asked questions about IVF can also be found in a detailed post at

A general post covering various aspects of interest to those considering IVF is available at and this post also contains several links to authoritative websites concerning several of the issue addressed.

Due to client demand, Alan Patching has now prepared a web-based version of his IVF-Assist program and a 2mins 30 secs. overview is available at

His clinic vision is for IVF-Assist to help 1,000 women become pregnant within three years.

Three 15-20 minutes videos (and one 5 mins) are available in which Alan Patching explains the program and research findings in simple terms. The link to these videos is

Patching’s clinic is based in Southport, Australia, and he can be contacted via email at alanpatching(at) or via telephone at +61438394040.

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Alan Patching

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