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. 2357

    Isaac means "She laughs". Sarah was 90.

    January 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joker

    Women usually laugh at the guy when it's over anyways. No need to send in the clowns.

    January 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bozoe

    So if I want my wife pregnant I need to hire a clown.

    January 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Analita Rectalson

    Clowns always turn me on mmm! Let me squeeze that red nose baby!

    January 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sees All Evil

    Laughter is the best medicine lol

    January 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill Blimpton

    I made the mistake of dressing up as a clown at frat party,drank whitelightning till I could'nt see ,ended up marrying a gal named Hillary

    January 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Suzy Nameth

    This is it boy's. GO JETS!! and BTW Bill, put that clown costume away.your cute little nose is already red.

    January 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    @bozoe: No because I think you've got that covered.

    January 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @Analita: Clowns turn you on? That's not what I heard.

    January 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @Susy: What about the bears?

    January 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    @Suzy: What about the bears?

    January 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Suzy Nameth

    Ceasar? Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my! Bears by 6 pts.My JETS have a long hard climb sunday! And if JETS win it all how about you wear JETS jersey and come visit your PALACE in the desert?

    January 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pennywise

    We all get pregnant down here. .

    January 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Blank 186

    I'm pretty sure the radiation has fixed that

    January 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Analita Rectalson

    @Cesar well i do love a man in uniform and make-up on a guy is delicious, so with clowns i get the best of both worlds!

    January 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
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