In what appears to be a pretty well-designed study, doctors at Columbia have demonstrated that prayer nearly doubles the success rate of in-vitro fertilization. Interestingly, the prayer that they studied was “intercessory prayer” — not the pregnant women themselves praying, but instead, groups of other people praying for them. Freeeeaky. (The entire paper is currently available on the Journal of Reproductive Medicine website, but it’ll disappear soon.)


The real question would be whether the women knew that the praying was going on. One would expect that there would be a lot of tension and fear in a woman undergoing in vitro fertilization, and it might well be that the biochemical environment inside the woman is changed by that for the negative. If the knowledge of those prayers calms the woman down, it could improve the chances of conception.

(Sorry, I didn’t notice that it was double-blind.)

• Posted by: Steven C. Den Beste on Sep 28, 2001, 2:00 PM
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