Friday, October 19, 2007

Small Pricks

Women should stay away from small pricks. Well, at least women who are receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. A study in the US has found that women on IVF are 37% less likely to get pregnant, if they have acupuncture. The surprising thing, to me, is that someone thought up a study like this. Imagine some scientists sitting around the table, during a coffee break, one day, when one of them shouts, "I know how we can get a grant! Let's do a study on the effects of acupuncture on the effectiveness of IVF!" Who paid for this study?
Speaking of getting pregnant, here in Britain, people seem to say a woman "falls" pregnant, or "fell pregnant," in the past tense. I didn't know falling was involved. When children ask, "mummy, where do babies come from?" do mothers say, "well, women fall over on their stomachs, then get a swelling from hitting the ground. Inside the swelling, a baby starts growing."
The confused child then says, "but I thought the storks brought them?"
Mother thinks on her feet, then adds, "well, scientists suspect that, while the woman is fallen over and a bit stunned, the stork lays an egg in the swelling, because they think it's a neat place to make a nest." The child responds by looking at his mother like she's a nut.
Another possibility is that when British women fall over, drunk, a man realizes they are in a fit state to give in to sex. Perhaps people used to say, "she fell and got pregnant." That became shortened, over time, to "she fell pregnant." Then the cynical side of me imagines that it comes from the expression, "falling in love." "Victoria fell in love, now she's pregnant." How romantic. Nah! I wonder if the scientists will do a follow-up study, to determine the effect of small pricks on "falling" pregnant, with women who aren't on IVF? There's another grant!

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