Is Bed Rest Really Necessary after IVF?

It so happened, that bed rest is the usual prescription for women who have undergone any medical procedure. For example, before women are traditionally being prescribed bed rest for six weeks after delivery. But then scientists proved that such inactive lifestyle after delivery increased risks of appearing blood clots in the deep veins.

Bed rest is usually recommended in the best intentions, but it does not guarantee a favorable outcome. However, it is very difficult to change existing stereotypes and depart from this useless advice. Nowadays, IVF treatment has been used for several decades. It is time to consider the real benefits of the various recommendations and decide whether bed rest after IVF procedures is useful or not.

Bed rest after IVF: a little historical summary

When IVF only appeared in medical practice, doctors recommend women stay in bed for two weeks after the procedure. And bed rest was taken literally: for some time after the procedure patients were not allowed to leave their bed at all. After embryo transfer, patients were brought to the hospital on a gurney, and then they are not even allowed to get up to the toilet (the bedpan was used for these purposes).

But it became clear over time that such a rigid restriction is not necessary. In 1997, studies have been conducted that have shown that bed rest (even if it comes to a 24 hour period after transfer) is actually useless precaution.

Later more serious studies related to bed rest after IVF were carried out in 2005. During the research one group of women was allowed to stand and move immediately after the IVF procedure, and others were forced to lie down for an hour after the embryo transfer. Pregnancy rates for both of these groups were same.

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After embryo transfer, patients were brought to the hospital on a gurney, and then they are not even allowed to get up to the toilet

Finally, in 2011, scientists collected all studies into a single whole, analyzed the existing data and officially announced: bed rest after IVF cannot help with the implantation of a child, but being totally sedentary may be harmful sometimes. This is because a sedentary lifestyle in combination with high levels of estrogen becomes the cause of blood clots as well as a rise in insulin resistance. You can compare: exercises lower stress hormone levels, promote healthy blood flow, and reduces inflammation.

Also, scientists have debunked another popular myth. For many years it was thought that exercise during pregnancy should be excluded because it could aggravate the situation. But in 2008, scientists have proved that moderate aerobic exercises during pregnancy are useful for healthy women. Rigorous, well-organized studies have shown that such activity had a positive effect on the mother and the unborn child.
Bed rest and reduced activity after the IVF procedure can cause disturbances in blood flow and normal fluctuations in heart rate

However, even the researchers are powerless against stereotypes. It is difficult to convince the patient not to stay in bed after the treatment. Even if the doctor advises to move more, patient, according to their own convictions, or on the advice of close friends, may comply with bed rest after IVF and restrict her daily activity.

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