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First baby born in Britain using music-assisted fertility treatment

The first baby born in Britain using music-assisted fertility treatment just turned one year old. Freddie was conceived using an IVF technique where music was played while eggs were being fertilized in the lab. Freddie’s parents opted for the experimental treatment after suffering two miscarriages and one failed IVF cycle. They travelled to Barcelona to the Institut Marques Fertility Clinic, where a study was being conducted to see whether playing music in IVF labs increases fertilization rates.

Throughout the course of the study, the researchers injected sperm into almost 1,000 eggs and put them in petri dishes and then into incubators. Then, they placed speakers in half the incubators and played music for 24 hours a day. Music included songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna, Nirvana and Metallica, and classical works by Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi. The researchers found that fertilization rates were about 5% higher in the incubators where music was played. The type of music didn’t appear to make a difference. Since embryos don’t develop a sense of sound until at least 14 weeks, the researchers think that the vibrations created by the music aid fertilization. The vibrations are thought to ease the passage of nutrients into the egg and speed the removal of toxic waste, which increases the odds of fertilization and the embryo surviving.

It is yet to be determined whether the music technique boosts the odds of achieving a live birth, but it does appear to be associated with higher fertilization rates. Couples in 17 countries have now become parents thanks to this technique. In the case of Freddie’s parents, after trying unsuccessfully to have a child for 4 years, they were overjoyed that the experimental treatment helped them realize their dream of becoming parents.

Read more here.


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