So it’s Day Two of National Infertility Awareness Week, and on Twitter there’s been a lot of talk about the first baby born using “musical IVF”. This is a story which has been around for a while now, based apparently on some research (?) from a clinic in Spain where they have been experimenting with playing music in the laboratory which they suggest improves their success rates.
There have been some variations on this theme – the original story some months back claimed that embryos liked Metallica, now they apparently like anything from Nirvana, Michael Jackson and Madonna to Mozart. The story was described by one leading fertility specialist as “trivial, lazy and irresponsible journalism”, and elsewhere as one of the “silliest” fertility stories.
It’s hardly surprising that fertility patients are tempted to leap on the latest bandwagon whether it’s musical or mini IVF – but the reality is that many of these stories are more about marketing than science – but it can be hard to work out which is which. I feel there is a bit of a backlash against this kind of fertility headline hype at the moment, which can only be a good thing for anyone who needs help to conceive. If it’s something you’re interested in, Progress Educational Trust Director Sarah Norcross will be talking on this very subject at The Fertility Show on Saturday in a seminar titled ‘The science behind IVF – sorting the known knowns from the known unknowns’ – go along and hear what she has to say!
Meanwhile today there has been lots of activity around National Infertility Awareness Week, with some amazing cakes baked to raise funds for Infertility Network UK at clinics across the country. Tomorrow there will be a new support group launching in Fulham, and if you’re not in the area but are interested in finding your local group you can check out the Infertility Network UK groups here. A second winner was announced this evening in the draw to win a copy of Precious Babies (the book for anyone who has had successful fertility treatment). It’s not too late to get involved with National Infertility Awareness Week whether you’re going to enter the competition, bake a cake or join in the debate – for more ideas, see the website at www.niaw.org.uk