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You have heard of medical clowns that come to hospitals to entertain really sick children, haven't you? Well, according to one new Israeli study, children are not the only ones to benefit from such clowns. The small study concluded that those women who were entertained by professional clowns while undergoing IVF were more likely to end up pregnant.

Israeli researchers studied 219 who were going through the process of trying to get pregnant with the help of invitro fertilization. Some of the women were entertained by so-called medical clowns right after embryo transfer, while others were not. The research team found that the clown group had better success rates than the non-clown control group. Now, that's funny, isn't it? Just how much did clowns influence a woman's chances of getting pregnant? Well, 36 percent of those women who were entertained by a clown ended up pregnant, versus 20 percent of those who had a classical IVF procedure, clown not included.

Lead author Dr Shevach Friedler called laughter a natural anti stress system, with physiological effects. I do wonder what he has to say about another recent study, that found stress increases IVF success chances? Are these two findings not slightly contradictory? Patients suffering from infertility undergoing IVF are exceptionally stressed," Friedler from the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Zrifin told Reuters. "I thought that this intervention could be beneficial for them at the crucial moments after embryo transfer."

It's an interesting idea, to be sure. Friedler noted that clowns visiting IVF patients for 15 minutes after embryo transfer was hardly a hazardous intervention. He hopes that other clinics will take the idea up, and start having clowns around to visit IVF patients. What do you think? Would you want a clown at your embryo transfer? I have to say that the idea doesn't appeal to me at all, but other people might well be different.

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