I was reading up on recent research in Sterility and Fertility and I came across a research report which I had somehow missed last winter. According to a study done in Israel, 12-15 meeting individual session with a medical clown immediately after embryo transfer improves the outcome of IVF. As the study notes, this is a relatively inexpensive treatment and so at the very least, further research is warranted.
Well, I had no idea there were medical clowns, but not only are there such things, there are programs to train them. And if you think about it, the results make some sense. IVF is stressful. It’s certainly possible that stress encourages the production of hormones some of which might impede the process by which transplanted embryos implant into the uterus. Laughter dispels stress. So a good laugh–and a good clown–can increase IVF rates. (I imagine this treatment is not recommended for those with coulrophobia.) At the bottom of this story, you’ll find a clip of the clown, but I think it’s probably funnier if you understand some Hebrew.
You could think that this really has nothing to do with my blog, but I was rather charmed and so I figured I’d pass it along.