I could write 10 pages on things I hate about clowns. Their creepy, exaggerated smiles. Their booming laughter. Their repeated crimes against fashion: polka dots with rainbow stripes, floppy, red shoes, and blue eye shadow. They elicit fear and anxiety in small children and some adults—feelings of terror that no balloon animal can calm.
But today, I can say that there may be one good thing about clowns: they may help you get pregnant. A recent study in Israel found that women undergoing in-vitro fertilization who were visited by a “medical clown” were 16% more likely to get pregnant than women who weren’t given the clown treatment. Immediately after implantation, the women spent 15 minutes hanging with clowns. (In case you were wondering, there’s a school in Israel that offers dual-major programs in nursing and juggling.)
The findings suggest that laughter and a reduced level of stress can help boost the chances of an implanted embryo settling in the womb. If clown comedy isn’t your idea of relaxation, doctors have also found that treatments like acupuncture can also reduce stress for women undergoing IVF.
I think I’ll stick to knock-knock jokes.