London - It is known as the food of love – and now it has emerged that music may boost the odds of IVF success.
Playing music to an egg in a dish in an IVF lab increased the chances of it being fertilised by five percent, a study found.
The Spanish researchers believe that the tiny vibrations produced by music give fertilisation a helping hand.
They think the vibrations may ease the passage of nutrients into the egg, while speeding the removal of toxic waste and so increase the odds of fertilisation taking place and the fledgling embryo surviving.
While fully-grown humans may be fussy about the type of music they listen to, embryos aren’t so picky. Pop, classical and heavy metal tracks were all equally good, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual conference in London heard.
The scientists, from the Marques Institute fertility clinic in Barcelona, injected sperm into almost 1 000 eggs and put them on dishes in incubators.
They then placed iPods in half the incubators and left them playing music including pop songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna, heavier tracks from Nirvana and Metallica and classical works by Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi.
When they checked the dishes, they found, as expected, that only some of the eggs had been fertilised. To their surprise, they also discovered that fertilisation rates were higher in the incubators in which music had been played.
Researcher Carolina Castello said: ‘When we work in an IVF lab, we try to mimic the conditions in the womb in terms of light and temperature.
“For instance, we work in low light but nobody has studied the effect of sound.”
Embryos don’t develop the ability to hear for at least 14 weeks, so Dr Castello thinks that the vibrations produced by the music are key.
Dagan Wells, an Oxford University fertility expert said that while the idea might sound bizarre, it could have some scientific basis.
He said: “Embryos produced using IVF sit on a dish, stewing in their own juices but those produced naturally are wafted down the fallopian tubes, rocking and rolling all their way to the uterus.
“This movement means that the embryo experiences a very dynamic environment, which may have some advantages, particularly in terms of getting rid of waste products.
“The vibrations caused by music may stimulate this effect.
“One might speculate that techno music, with its pounding bass beat might do the best job of all.” - Daily Mail
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