Research to Reader: fertility science
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking, and while you are imagining your little embryo implanting to become a big fat positive (BFP) there are some positive steps you can take to get that egg to stick!
Time to put your feet up?
I have read some advice suggesting that women have complete bed rest for two days after their transfer. NO NO NO!!! While it is not the time to run a marathon, everything we know about the negative effects of bed rest for physiology and your mental state suggests that this would be detrimental. The concept of bed rest stems from old school thinking that the contents of your uterus will fall out as soon as you stand up and walk. Hmmm... no.
Studies that have used ultrasound to track air bubbles delivered into the uterus have shown that 15 minutes of walking straight after transfer had no effect on the uterus contents so it is safe to say that your embryo will not fall out.
Ban the bed rest
Excitingly a systematic review (scientific analysis of all literature on the topic) exploring the effects of bed rest after embryo transfer and the outcome of IVF/ICSI has recently been published – and guess what?? Bed rest is NOT GOOD.
The review included studies involving autologous transfers (women’s own eggs) and varied fertility issues such as oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstrual periods), endometriosis and male factor infertility. In one study included in the review the patients were even catheterized so they didn’t have to get up and go to the toilet! Who has two days to hang around in bed??
Anyway, prolonged bed rest (24 hours) was found to be associated with lower rates of clinical pregnancy. Women who rested in bed were 40% less likely to have a Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test) (1).
So if bed rest, or a marathon, is not on the menu then what should you be doing? Your custom exercise program will guide you during this two week wait!
1.Craciunas L, Tsampras N. Bed rest following embryo transfer might negatively affect the outcome of IVF/ICSI: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Human fertility (Cambridge, England). 2016; 19: 16-22.