They say laughter is the best medicine, and this can even be true for your fertility! “Oh come on,” you say. I understand, but let me tell you about a 2011 study that found that a visit from a medical clown significantly improves pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Laughter might be an important, easy way to increase your IVF success rates and fertility health naturally.
Study Details and Results:
A study of 229 women undergoing IVF found that a 15-minute visit from a medical clown after embryo transfer increases pregnancy chances 2.67 times, as compared to women who didn’t have a clown visit after transfer.
This was an unexpected outcome and was statistically significant. The study even factored in age, nature of fertility issue, and the number and date of embryo transfer. Experts theorize that comedy increased IVF success by acting similarly to acupuncture, relaxing body stress and creating an environment favorable to implantation.
How Humor and Laughter Improves your Health and Fertility
Laughter is a powerful healer. It initiates a chain reaction of physiological and psychological changes that help improve fertility, promote longevity and increase resistance to disease.
Laughter decreases stress hormones like cortisol that can negatively impact fertility. Balanced cortisol levels support the proper functioning of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovary Axis (HPO) that regulates fertility hormones, libido and the menstrual cycle.
Laughter releases natural endorphins, which relieve stress, promote well being and ease pain temporarily. Laughter is a great approach to ease symptoms of anxiety or depression. Today, laughter therapists are even available for recovery from serious diseases like cancer.
Laughter is great medicine for the immune system, boosting production of natural killer cells and infection-fighting antibodies. In a study by Carnegie Mellon University, people who were depressed, nervous or angry were found to be three times more likely to get sick with a cold than those who were energetic, happy and relaxed.
Reduced stress from “laughter therapy” can also lower blood pressure and could make it easier to lose weight. University of Kentucky research finds stress management is perhaps even more important than diet changes for weight loss.
Laugh it off
While laughter may not help you overcome every problem, it’s definitely worth practicing relaxing, reducing your stress levels and creating your healthiest body environment for fertility. There is no question that laughter can make you feel better and improve your health, even in the face of loss, adversity or a fertility challenge.
Try to laugh every day. If nothing seems funny (I’ve been there), try out a comedy show, funny movie or book, or browsing funny blogs. Facing a fertility problem is not anyone’s idea of fun. You can take back control by doing what you can to keep a sense of humor while addressing your challenge areas. Your outlook and your fertility health may turn around just by having more fun and practicing laughter every day!
Feel free to share in the comments section below what makes you laugh, or how you lighten the mood when your fertility journey feels heavy.
- Szalavitz, Maia. (2011, Jan.). You’re Kidding! Medical Clown Increases Pregnancy Rates with IVF. Retrieved from: http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/31/youre-kidding-medical-clown-increases-pregnancy-rates-with-ivf/
- Laughter is the Best Medicine. (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
- Hitchfield, R. (2003, July). Laughter “The Best Medicine For a Cold.” Retrieved from:
- Matthews, K. (2017, Dec.). 6 Powerful Health Benefits of Laughter. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kayla-matthews/6-powerful-health-benefit_b_6445086.html