IVF patients are often extremely stressed. Read more about how laughter diffuses stress. (It’s also one of the least hazardous interventions in medicine!)
Here is the full story:
Dr. Shevach Friedler an infertility doctor with the Infertility and IVF unit at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, in Zrifin, Israel, led a study of the effects of a bedside encounter with a professional medical clown on the pregnancy rate of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Dr. Friedler and colleagues tracked 219 women undergoing IVF treatment at the medical center and, over a period of a year, treated half of them to a medical clown’s 15-minute routine of jokes, magic tricks and other clowning immediately after their embryos were implanted. The clown’s routine was created especially for the study by Friedler and a colleague.
The results showed 36.4 percent of women exposed to clowning immediately after embryo transfer became pregnant, while only 20.2 percent of the controls became pregnant. Dr. Friedler said the reason was probably because the clowning reduced the stress of what for many was many years of grueling IVF treatments, but this is not certain. It is also unclear what role, if any, stress may play in the success of IVF treatments.
Source: The effect of medical clowning on pregnancy rates after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. http://goo.gl/DI2WYr.