Monday, October 26, 2015

Bedrest after ET is a bad idea

Most doctors ask IVF patients to take bed-rest after the embryo transfer ( ET). Some will prescribe strict bed-rest, where the patient is not even allowed to get out of bed; while others will confine patients to house arrest.

The truth is that there is no need to rest after the ET. Once the embryo is inside the uterus, it's safe and secure - think of it like a pearl snuggling in an oyster ! No external physical activity or diet is going to harm it. This is true whether the embryo spends 5 days in the fallopian tube ( after having sex in the bedroom); or 5 days in the IVF lab !

Bed rest can actually be harmful for the patient. Muscles become weak; the mind plays games; and the back starts to hurt , when you force someone to sleep in bed. Even worse, it reinforces the impression that a woman doing IVF is a patient. The reality is that she is not - she is a healthy young woman who just needs some medical assistance to kick start her pregnancy !

However, old habits die hard, and there are still lots of old wife's tales about the need for bed rest after IVF. In fact, some mothers will even insist that their daughter lie in bed during the entire 9 months of their pregnancy ! This is sure to drive anyone crazy - and this is why so many women find IVF to be an emotionally draining experience . It's not the IVF per se which is difficult - it's all the artificial restrictions which are imposed on them by well-meaning but mis-guided doctors and family members which add to their stress levels.

One major harm bed rest causes is that if the cycle fails, then the woman ends up blaming herself for the failure.  To add insult to injury, so do her relatives - and so does the IVF doctor , who has now found an excuse to get off the hook . He holds the poor patient responsible for the the failure by saying that she did not rest properly !

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