So, does laughing really increase your chances of pregnancy? Let me start with saying that I know a lot of funny people who have never gotten pregnant. I’ve also met a lot about people who are really boring and dull, and yet they’re surrounded by kids!

OK, I’m just kidding. I have no idea if that is true.

But I recently saw a video of Retta from Parks and Recreation on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Show, talking about the strangest standup gigs she had ever done  — Retta  February 28, 2018

She went on to explain that she had actually done stand-up at a friend’s artificial insemination session. Her friend’s husband had come to her with all this online research showing that laughter improves pregnancy rates. If you laugh, you’re supposedly more likely to get pregnant. So, the husband thought Retta’s comedy might help move things along. 

The irony is that the couple actually did get pregnant.

So, even if I debunk this myth, there may just be a little bit of anecdotal validity to it.

Struggling to conceive is no laughing matter

But let’s look at the facts behind this idea. Many of these online claims came in came from a study conducted in Israel in 2011. (You’re Kidding! Medical Clown Increases Pregnancy Rates with IVF Time Magazine 2011.  Study

This particular study tried to prove that laughter is the best medicine for everything. The study took women who had recently had an embryo transfer and then placed them in two groups. One group got a standup comedy routine, while the other group did not. The findings showed a 50% higher pregnancy rate in the first group, the ones who had been given a free comedy show. This outcome led the researchers to conclude that laughter can be a potent medical tool for getting pregnant faster.

Now let’s look at the basic facts to female infertility and the laughing study.

First, there were only a few people in the trial, which means the findings aren’t completely reliable. There’s a much higher chance that other factors were at work as well. 

We also have to consider why people get pregnant in the first place. Essentially, fertility boils down to three key questions: 

  1. Does a guy have sperm? 
  2. Does a woman have eggs? 
  3. Can they meet in the tubes and have a place to go in the uterus?

In reality, the DNA of the egg and the DNA of the sperm have already been determined, which is the major driver of human fertility. So, there is not really any convincing data that laughing really hard after insemination raises your odds of pregnancy.

There are also plenty of claims to the effect that stress has a negative effect on fertility. But history suggests otherwise.  If humans were chased around by saber toothed tigers for thousands of years and the species still exists, then despite the most stressful of circumstances, people were still able to conceive. 

The relationship between stress and infertility

There was also reliable research conducted during World War II showing that even the horrific stresses of genocide and ethnic cleansing actually had far less of a negative effect on fertility than expected. In fact, there was even one study showing that women who were the most stressed were also the most likely to get pregnant. This was because they actually cared about the outcome and took better care of themselves, which of course led to more successful pregnancies.

So, even though it’s important to laugh and have fun, it’s equally important that you don’t beat yourself up just because you’re feeling stressed. Of course, it’s not as fun when you are struggling to conceive because infertility isn’t a laughing matter. Just keep in mind that successful pregnancies can absolutely happen, even under the most stressful conditions. 

This is an important point because many couples feel stressed about not getting pregnant, and then they come across an article or study claiming that stress causes infertility. Now, not only are they stressed, but they become even more stressed about the fact they are stressed. It’s a vicious cycle.

But the bottom line is this. Even if you have the most stressful job and life, you can still get pregnant. And that is no laughing matter.