Embryo transfer is a simple process during which the doctor transfers your embryo into your uterine cavity using a hollow fine plastic sterile tube called an embryo transfer catheter . The embryo then may or may not get implanted depending upon various factors. The implantation process is a natural biological in vivo process, which requires hormonal and chemical factors from both the embryo and the endometrium to work in harmony. There are no external elements which are proven to influence this process.
Bed rest after the procedure is a myth believed by many IVF patients and also prescribed by some doctors. Patients are afraid that if they walk around, the embryo may fall out. This is completely untrue as embryo implantation is unaffected by gravity. Patients naively believe that because the embryo has been transferred artificially, there is a risk of it falling out through the transfer track.
Our bodily systems are designed well and they work smoothly . They are not affected by walking, running, coughing or sneezing. Embryo transfer in an IVF cycle is just an assisted method. We do not change nature’s way of working. The process of implantation will continue as it is designed to, whether the embryo has been transferred into the cavity through a cather, or whether it reaches the cavity after spending 3-4 days in the fallopian tube ( as it does during natural conception) . In most cases of natural conception, the woman does not even know of her pregnancy for quaite a few days, and so continues her normal routine. This does not harm her embryo in any way. The same is the case after IVF treatment.
Strict bed rest would cause more harm rather than help the patient. Lying down is unnatural for human beings and so has adverse effects on the body. Taking a bed pan for bodily needs would be a reason for considerable embarrassment for the patient. Another problem of bed rest is that when lying down, the patient tends to keep thinking of the outcome. It is normal for the patient to be apprehensive of the result but with nothing to do during bed rest, the IVF patient tends to ponder on negative thoughts far more often. A compulsion to lie down can also be demoralizing for the patient. Bed rest can actually create stress !
Some doctors may advise bed rest after an IVF cycle. But this prescription is just a part of the ‘blame game’. These doctors tend to victimize the patient if the results do not come out favorably by saying that she didn’t rest properly. Patients need to understand that they are allowed to do light work after the embryo transfer. After 48 hours, they can go about their normal duties without any fear.
Enforced bed rest after embryo transfer in an IVF cycle is neither essential nor helpful; and patients should continue their normal routine after the procedure. If your doctor advises bed rest after your embryo transfer, you need to find a better doctor ! Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !