You've probably caught yourself saying things like "I'd stand on my head if it would help me have a baby!" A recently published study from Israel of 219 women going through IVF found that bringing in the clowns can help.
It sounds pretty funny, but this was bona fide research published in Fertility & Sterility, the journal of my esteemed colleagues, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
The clinic employed the services of a "medical clown" who performed a standardized routine for each patient on some days. Women who attended clinic on a "non-clown" day were less likely to get pregnant, even taking into consideration factors like age, infertility cause, and the number of embryos transferred.
Like the lead researcher, Dr. Shevach Friedler, says, it's "one of the least hazardous interventions" for IVF patients.
While I'm sorry to say that we don't have a clown on staff here at Houston Fertility Center (yet), we do take pretty seriously the growing body of research that points to connections between stress and treatment success. Besides offering a soothing environment at our clinics with staff members who are sensitive to your worries, we refer patients to massage, acupuncture, and counseling professionals, all of whom specialize in the needs of fertility patients. I'm a believer in the value of learning personal stress management and the positive impact on infertility and treatment.
You never know what people will try next. So the next time you're at our place for an appointment, don't be surprised if you hear laughter. After all, helping people make their dreams come true can be pretty fun!