herald

Thursday 19 April 2018

Music is linked to better IVF chances

MUSIC LOVER: Freddie
MUSIC LOVER: Freddie

IT came as little surprise to Freddie's parents to discover their one-year-old son has an ear for music.

After all, music filled the air at the time of his conception in a pioneering Spanish IVF clinic.

In July scientists at the Institut Marques in Barcelona reported ground-breaking results showing that music played during fertilisation increased the chances of creating an embryo by almost 5pc.

DRAMATIC

The research is still on-going, but there are early indications of a dramatic impact on live birth rates in new figures released by the team.

Of 69 live births recorded so far, 55 were from the group fertilised with the help of music and 14 from the group without music – a four-fold difference.

The first British baby born after a musical conception was Freddie, from Liverpool.

His parents Isabelle and Stephen went to the Spanish clinic after a series of miscarriages and failed attempts at IVF in the UK. Isabelle, who is in her late 40s, said: "We were amazed to learn that our son had actually been the first child born in the UK using this technique. This was a very exciting discovery for us, as we are both huge music lovers.

"From early on we noticed he was hugely drawn to music."

Scientists divided the eggs into two groups which were kept in different incubators and iPod was used to play three different genres of music during attempts at fertilisation.

Music was found to improve fertilisation rates by 4.8pc. It made no difference if the incubator resounded to the sound of Michael Jackson, Vivaldi or Metallica.

The findings were reported in July at the European Society of Human Reproduction's annual meeting in London.

hnews@herald.ie

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