Fertility specialists in Spain have discovered that eggs in fertility labs like music. They discovered that fertilization rates are higher when eggs being prepped for in vitro fertilization (IVF) can dance to the music being piped into their incubator.
The study took place in Barcelona, where researchers at the Institut Marques put some eggs in an incubator specially fitted with speakers and other eggs in the typical, non-musical incubator. They worked with 985 eggs from 114 patients. The eggs of each patient were divided so that some of an individual woman's eggs were in the music group and some were in the traditional group.
The music, which played 24 hours a day, was classical, hard rock, and pop. The different musical styles were used to determine if variations in frequency from one style to the other had any significant effect.
Musical style didn't make a difference but music in general did. The fertilization rate for the musical incubator was 4.8% higher than that for the traditional incubator.
The study did not reveal the reason why the serenaded eggs were more likely to fertilize successfully but Dr. Marisa Lopez-Teijon has a theory. Lopez-Teijon is the main author of the study and is head of the institute's assisted reproduction division.
Great measures are taken to create laboratory conditions that replicate the environment of the womb, including oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, darkness, and temperature. The culture medium in which the embryos are kept is close to the environment of the human body, too, but the culture medium is static, never moving.
The environment in the body, however, is constantly on the move. The internal organs of the body are forever contracting and relaxing and the cells themselves are in constant motion. They ingest metabolites that promote vitality while expelling toxins that get washed away in the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Lopez-Teijon theorizes that the musical vibrations energize the cultured embryos by keeping the nutrients flowing for optimum distribution at the same time they bounce toxins away. In the traditional incubator, the culture medium is never stirred and expelled toxins such as ammonium and free radicals accumulate around the egg, sperm, and embryo.
Once the study results were evaluated, the Institut Marques embraced the idea of playing music to enhance fertilization. Today, all the embryo incubators at the Institut Marques are tricked out with speakers for 24 hours of song and dance.
The Institut Marques, founded in 1941, is a privately-owned medical institution that specializes in assisted reproduction. It has achieved worldwide acclaim for its work on the genetic analysis of sperm cells and other factors that contribute to male infertility.
Source: "Music enhances In Vitro Fertilisation (pdf)." Institut Marques. Institut Marques. Jul 10, 2013. Web. Mar 20, 2014.