Studies have suggested that stress can impact fertility. A 2009 study showed that stress reduces the chances of IVF success. Perhaps acknowledging the inherently stressful nature of fertility treatments, a fertility doctor in Israel decided to try combining IVF with a known stress-relieving technique: laughter.
At his clinic in Israel, Professor Shevach Friedler conducted a study of over 200 women receiving In Vitro Fertilization. After their IVF treatments, half of the women were given the usual post-procedure routine. The other half were treated to 15 minutes of “medical clowning.” This was described as “jokes about cookery” and magic tricks.
The women who saw the clown were far more likely to get pregnant from IVF. 36% of the clowning group had successful IVF, compared to only 20% of the control group. The study, published in the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, is already receiving flak from medical professionals who question the scientific value of clowning. There’s also some controversy about whether the base theory that stress affects fertility is medically proven.
In addition to being a fertility doctor, Professor Shevach Friedler is a trained mime artist. It’s not clear if he did the entertaining himself, or sent in another clown.
[via Daily Mail]