Fertility Clown: Clownin’ Around During Fertility Treatment

You may expect to see clowns at the circus or at a child’s birthday party…but what about at a hospital or fertility clinic?  In Israel Fertility Clowns, a type of Medical Clown, have become “relatively commonplace.”  Nimrod Eisenberg is a Fertility Clown in Israel who visits patients after IVF procedures.  Putting on 15 minute performances immediately after the procedure, Eisenberg describes his clowning personality as “more like Charlie Chaplin’s.”  Eisenberg understands the complexity of clowning during fertility treatments, “There’s a lot of unspoken tension and stress in a fertility ward,” he says.  But, Eisenberg also feels “Once you start playing with that tension and acknowledging it and joking over it, it’s able to burst out and offer some relief,” describing his job as “a delicate balance.” The research shows tension-relieving laughter may, in fact, help increase IVF success rates.  However not all countries are open to Fertility Clowns at this time. Eisenberg recently traveled to Canada to introduce Medical Clowns.  Although met with “cautious enthusiasm” Eisenberg sees Fertility Clowning as eventually spreading worldwide.

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