I really just love that a bunch of researchers have made the effort and had the research funds approved to find out the answer to this question…does laughing after your embryo transfer improve your chance of falling pregnant?
Turns out the answer is yes!
So the researchers figured that IVF is stressful (we’re in agreeance here right?). They also found that stress can have negative effects on fertility (also in agreeance). He then discovered that laughing reduces stress (it’s a hat trick!). Therefore, why wouldn’t laughing improve your chance of falling pregnant?
The design of the study included a 15 min visit from a “professional medical clown” (fantastic occupation title!) just after the embryo transfer. While the women were still lying on the treatment table.
Each patient in the intervention group was visited by a professional medical clown immediately after their embryo transfer. “The routine included jokes, tricks, and magic and was performed on a one-to-one basis with the clown dressed as a ‘‘chef de cuisine.’’” (Friedler et al, 2010).
36.4% of these women fell pregnant as opposed to the group with no medical clown intervention, where only 20.2% of women fell pregnant. As far as statistics go, this is a significant finding!
We’ve all heard that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and all over the globe there are laughing classes designed to improve health. I also found you can participate in laughing yoga!
In research, laughing has been found to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenalin, reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It has also been found to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation – similar benefits to regular exercise.
Laughing can also increase endorphins (happy hormones) which helps manage pain and helps create a positive frame of mine. All very much needed throughout your IVF experience.
“Laughter is a highly complex process. Joyous or mirthful laughter is considered a positive stress (eustress) that involves complicated brain activities leading to a positive effect on health.” (sciencedaily.com)
Research into laughter’s effect on the body started in 1978 when Norman Cousins (not a doctor), was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and treated himself into remission (with the guidance of medical professionals) with laughter.
His study is still reportedly one of the first into mind-body medicine.
All kidding aside…(see what I did there?)
Laughter can improve your chance of falling pregnant with IVF. Research says so.
From a Chinese medicine point of view, laughing helps move blood and energy. Stress through the IVF experience can cause energy to stagnate which results in pain, emotional upset and unsmooth uterine blood flow.
In ancient Chinese texts, it is also mentioned that joy (and therefore laughter) is an emotion strongly linked to healthy heart energy. Your heart energy is connected to your uterus energy for the purpose of growing your baby with love.
I would think it’s important to encourage yourself to laugh throughout your entire IVF experience, not just after transfer. As we have just learned, it has so many other health benefits.
It also doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t take much time. Sounds like an ideal natural support for IVF to me!
So don’t forget to find ways to laugh throughout your IVF experience :)
References: Friedler, S et al., 2010 The effect of medical clowning on pregnancy rates after an in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer, Fertility and Sterility, vol. 95, no. 6, pp. 2127-2130