Stress and Fertility

The effect of medical clowning on pregnancy rates after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer

Dr. Friedler and colleagues tracked 219 women undergoing IVF treatment and, over a period of a year, treated half of them to a medical clown's 15-minute routine of jokes, magic tricks, and other clowning immediately after their embryos were implanted. Those women whose stress was relieved with a good laugh after their transfer fell pregnant more often than did the control group.

Immunological changes and stress are associated with different implantation rates in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization–embryo transfer

This study examines the effect of stress on embryo transfer and explores its impact via the immune system. The researchers conclude that stress is associated with high amounts of activated T cells in the peripheral blood, which is in turn associated with a reduced implantation rate in women undergoing IVF-ET. The subject of regulation of T cells by acupuncture is something we are examining currently and is one of the hypothesized mechanisms by which acupuncture may increase implantation in some women. 


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