Everyone knows about “Octomom” and her octuplets born after in-vitro fertilization (IVF). That was an extreme case, but multiple births resulting from unregulated artificial reproductive technologies have skyrocketed over the last decade. The increased rate of twins, triplets and even higher multiples are due to in-vitro treatments and those women and infants are at much higher risk of pregnancy complications, premature birth and long term health problems.
New research, published in theJournal of Pediatrics, looked at admissions at just one hospital in Montreal, Quebec and found multiple embryo transfers was responsible for a significant proportion of admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These infants were born severely preterm. Six babies died and 5 developed severe intraventricular hemorrhage or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The researchers extrapolated their data to the entire country of Canada and said that a universal single-embryo transfer policy would have prevented 840 NICU admissions, 40 deaths and 42,488 days in the NICU. The cost was $40 million annually. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Following from the somewhat common sense idea that women who were less stressed during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) had better outcomes, the journal Fertility and Sterility published a study out of Israel that claims “medical clowning” improved pregnancy rates compared to a group not exposed to a clown on the day of implantation.
From the abstract:
This experimental prospective quasi-randomized study examining the impact of a medical clowning encounter after ET after IVF found that the pregnancy rate in the intervention group was 36.4%, compared with 20.2% in the control group (adjusted odds ratio, 2.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.36–5.24). Medical clowning as an adjunct to IVF-ET may have a beneficial effect on pregnancy rates and deserves further investigation.
In the methods section, the researchers describe the study design. For the intervention group (n=110) a “professional medical clown” visited the patient immediately after the procedure for about 15 minutes and performed the same routine including “jokes, tricks, and magic” while dressed as a chef.
While the study itself only uses one routine, presumably similar effects could be experienced by a patient bringing in a personal media device and watching something they know will amuse them right after their own procedure. Hopefully, no need to bring your own clown if the office won’t provide one for you. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*