No Joke: Clowns can boost IVF pregnancy rates, study says
January 15th, 2011
06:22 PM ET

No Joke: Clowns can boost IVF pregnancy rates, study says

Being entertained by a clown right after in vitro fertilization could be baby-making gold, according to a study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

No joke.

The one-year-long study, by doctors at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Zrifin, Israel, involved 219 women. Half of them were treated to a “medical clowning encounter” after having just undergone IVF.

Results showed that 36 percent of women who were treated to a 20-minute routine of jokes, magic tricks and other comedic acts after invitro became pregnant. In contrast, only 20 percent of the women in the group that wasn’t exposed to the routine got pregnant, according to the study.

The findings expand on research done by the study’s principal author, Dr. Shevach Friedler,  a graduate of the Jacques Lecoq school of mime and theatre in Paris, France. "My background is in clowning and movement," he told Nature.com in a 2006 interview. "I'm also a physician who works in IVF. I thought we could combine the two," he was quoted as saying.

The study holds promise for women seeking to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization and also identifies comedy as a key de-stressor during what could be, to patients, a harrowing medical procedure, Friedler told Reuters.

"Patients suffering from infertility undergoing IVF are exceptionally stressed. So I thought that this intervention could be beneficial for them at the crucial moments after embryo transfer," he is quoted as saying.

While medical clowns have usually been associated with pediatric care, their use with adult patients is on the rise, according to the website, Aheart4clowning.

The Israeli study concludes that clowning in conjunction with IVF may buoy pregnancy rates and needs further analysis.

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Filed under: Health • Israel • Science
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. jerk

    At what point does someone say, "You know, I think we should spend money on a year long study involving clowns and pregnancy particularly IVF" ?

    January 17, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. G.M.

    Out of work politicians will now have suitable employment opportunities. Husbands everywhere will be flooding stores in search of clown masks for help in getting the job done.

    January 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JANGO

    Tell me something we didn't already know...this is old news to the red noses.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Qaren Avila

    There's not very much hesitation that many successful high impact market leaders are forced with a model. This is correct even if which successful head won't take time to define his ...nn models

    January 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. pregnant

    I cherished as much as you'll obtain carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be handing over the following. ill unquestionably come further earlier again as exactly the same nearly very ceaselessly within case you shield this hike.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
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