Bed rest after Embryo transfer – is it necessary?

A study published in 2013 showed that there was a negative impact on the Live Birth Rate for women undergoing bed rest after their embryo transfer

(Fertility and Sterility® Vol. 100, No. 3, September 2013 0015-0282)

 In this study of 240 women undergoing IVF using embryos created from donated oocytes, half were allocated 10 minutes full bed rest after the transfer, (R group) and the others were allowed to get up from the transfer bed and leave the clinic (NR group)

The women were all undergoing the same treatment regimes, and the transfer was done by the same doctor for all patients; this excluded any potential for variability of treatment or clinician.

 Live birth infant rates (56.7%vs.41.6%)were observed to be significantly higher in the no rest (NR) group than in the rest (R) group. Lower miscarriage rates (18.3% vs. 27.5%) were shown in the NR group when compared with the R group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance.

Physically this study also supports the conclusion of many other studies that demonstrated how the cavity of the uterus is in a more horizontal position when a woman is standing than when she is lying down, this answers the stressful question of “will my embryo fall out”

The study authors believe that encouraging patients to follow their daily routine immediately after embryo transfer may help them to cope with anxiety during the waiting time and thereafter to increase their skills in maintaining relaxation throughout the treatment; and this may be one possible reason behind their obtained results.