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. Analita Bleaching

    and a big furious Helmet makes the best of three worlds.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Israeli clowns

    send in the clones... Cause u.s., female libido rates now hover at about 50 percent... Save us israel..make us laugh like bill mahar on a hot sunday.

    January 16, 2011 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Comedy central

    save u.s. ....make the women laugh cause the churches are now near bankrupt and sarah palin gave up dating to hang out at the practice range.

    January 16, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Frenchconnection

    oh yeeee great clowns.. We deeply apologize for the universal boycott of your music festivals.. Cheaper clones are now in demand... Let us pray.

    January 16, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. ***dude***

    Clowns r creepy to me. I'd suggest getting relaxed the old'e fashion way: pizza 'n beer!

    January 16, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    @Suzy Nameth: Done deal. Oh my!

    January 16, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    I think a younger Boy George might be a nice kick for Analita.

    January 16, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Petree Dish

    Maybe The Unborn Are Generated From A Higher Plane Of Collective Unconscious, Motivation-adaptive, And Sentient. Would " At The Big Top' And " Baby Elephant Walk' Be Reccommended Womb Music For Further Progress? Do Semi-predestined Gametes, Whose First-chance Encounter Happens To Take Place In A Laboratory, Tend 2 Feel More Circus-freakish Than Amorous; Thus Being More Apt To Accepting & Feeling Accepted In, An Appropriately-themed Atmosphere On This Plane Of Existance? Most Importantly, Can The Threat Of Teen-pregnancies Be Curbed If We Just Simply Encourage Our Kids 2 Meditate On Depressing Thoughts, Such As Teaching Them 2 Chant 'dead Puppies, Dead Puppies," Just When The Date Heats Up And The Condoms Run Out? Oh My, Aren't The Possibilties Endless?

    January 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @Petree Dish: Maybe they are generated from a higher plane of collective unconscious. I guess womb music can't hurt. I seriously doubt they feel freakish at all (although I don't know about you.) No, meditating on depressive thoughts and chanting "dead puppies, dead puppies," won't curb teen pregnancies. They will be done before the first chant ever even takes off. So long extraterestrial from another planet.

    January 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank

    Dear Ronald McDonald. I don't know where you've had your hands lately. I don't think I'll eat another quarter pounder again...ever.

    January 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. waldo

    ***hay jeff frank u r rite his hands were touching the tables. Do u like sprite dr pepper or coke. Tell me plz

    January 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. waldo

    ***bye jeff frank I waited but I'm going to sleep tell me 2morrow ok.

    January 16, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    Wow, brings new meaning to the statement: "We're in the closet clowning around!"

    January 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RUFFNUTT

    have they tryed this anywhere else? like on a horse stud farm? or a chicken rancch?

    January 17, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. COL. BAT GUANO

    I want to fertilize some Israeli chicks

    January 17, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
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