Israeli study links clowns and IVF success by reducing stress


A recent study found a link between clowns and IVF success, or successful planting of an embryo through in-vitro fertilization. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A recent study has found a link between clowns and IVF success, or a successful in-vitro fertilization. The study found that women undergoing IVF treatment were more likely to become pregnant if visited by a “medical clown” because the clowns reduce stress.

Link discovered between clowns and IVF success

A link was recently found between clowns and IVF treatment success during a study done at a research hospital in Israel, according to Reuters. Results of the study indicated that women undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatments had a higher rate of success and becoming pregnant when they were visited by a “medical clown” while recovering from an implantation procedure. The head of the study, Dr. Shevach Friedler, got the idea after reading about the positive effects of laughter as a natural stress reducer. To see if a reduced-stress environment after embryo implantation would increase the chances of successfully implanting a embryo, Dr. Friedler’s team at Harofeh Medical Center arranged for some patients to be visited by a clown in the recovery room.

Study was not just clowning around

Laughter, apparently seemed the best medicine. A greater percentage of women who received the “clown treatment” successfully became pregnant than those who went without a visit from a clown. The study was done using a total of 209 women that were undergoing in-vitro fertilization. Of those 209 women, the clown group had in-vitro fertilization success rates of 36 percent. The women who did not receive the clown treatment had a success rate of only 20 percent. The study is being published in “Fertility and Sterility,” a reproduction science medical journal. There is an actual medical clown college degree at the University of Haifa, in Israel, as clowns do help reduce stress among patients.

Clown may eventually cost extra

In-vitro fertilization is expensive, somewhat dangerous and does not always work. According to WebMD, the procedure results in a pregnancy in 32 percent of all cases, but only 25.6 percent of treatments resulted in a live birth. Success rates also vary by age group and wide range of factors. The average course of treatment costs $12,400 and is usually the last resort after artificial insemination and natural options have been exhausted.




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