Is Rest Necessary Following ICSI?

By MD, PhD, MSc (gynecologist), BSc, MSc (embryologist) and (embryologist).
Last Update: 02/24/2021

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproduction technique in which the fertilization of the eggs occurs in the laboratory. However, after 3-5 days of in vitro embryo development, the embryologist decides which is the best embryo (or embryos) to transfer to the patient's uterus in order for it to implant and give rise to a gestation.

The moment of embryo transfer to the woman's uterus is, therefore, one of the key points in in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. Once the embryo has been transferred, the only thing left to do is to wait 12 to 15 days for the pregnancy test.

Because of this, many women wonder if they should rest after the embryo transfer. Patients want to avoid anything that may affect the embryo and think that rest may favor its implantation. However, resting is not necessary after embryo transfer.

Rest after Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer is a very simple process that does not require anesthesia (since it is not a painful procedure) and lasts about 15 minutes at most. In this procedure, the gynecologist inserts a cannula with the embryo through the vagina and deposits it inside the uterus.

Immediately after the embryo transfer, you normally are asked to lie down and relax for 5-30 minutes. Once this time has passed, you can leave the fertility clinic.

Normal life after the transfer

When you leave the clinic after the embryo transfer, you don’t necessarily need to rest. Scientific studies show that resting does not improve the chances of ICSI success. However, there may be special cases in which the gynecologist does recommend it.

Therefore, you can lead a normal life and maintain your routines, however, with certain recommendations to follow:

  • Don’t do high-intensity sports.
  • Do not exert yourself physically, such as carrying weight.
  • Avoid stress.

The time when the patient is tested for pregnancy is 12-14 days after the embryo transfer. During this period of time, known as two-week-wait, it is normal that you feel nervous about finding out the result of the whole process and finally knowing if you are pregnant.

However, don’t obsess yourself with the possible test results. This would increase stress and anxiety, which could be counterproductive.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you keep yourselves busy. Making plans with other people, going for walks, or doing certain activities that do not involve great physical effort will make the two-week-wait more bearable and pass more quickly.

FAQs from users

Do I need to rest after ICSI?

By Blanca Paraíso MD, PhD, MSc (gynecologist).

Ovarian stimulation aims to achieve the growth of multiple eggs. This will mean that the ovaries will reach a much larger size than usual. This increase in size will be maintained from almost the beginning of the ovarian stimulation until several days after the puncture and ICSI.

The fact that the ovary is larger than usual is a risk factor for possible ovarian torsion. This consists of a complete or partial rotation of the ovary on its supporting elements, with the consequent loss of its blood supply, which is a medical emergency requiring early surgical intervention to avoid necrosis and loss of the ovary.

For this reason, it is advisable to rest after the puncture, avoiding above all exercise with impact and sexual relations until some time has passed and the ovaries have returned to their normal size. In addition, on the day of the puncture, this rest should be carried out more strictly due to the side effects that the anesthesia used for the intervention may have.

Should I ask for sick leave after ICSI?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez (embryologist).

No, it is not necessary as long as your work is not physically demanding.

Resting after the embryo transfer will not improve the results of ICSI. However, it is advisable to avoid heavy exertion, intense sports and stress.

What tips should I follow after the embryo transfer?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez (embryologist).

The first recommendation to follow after an embryo transfer is to lead a normal life, without great effort, and to maintain a positive attitude. It is also advisable to avoid sexual intercourse, immersion baths and taking any medication without first consulting the specialist.

You can read much more information on the subject in this link:Post Embryo Transfer Tips & Precautions - What Should You Expect?

Suggested for you

If you want to learn more about the ICSI procedure, you can visit the following article: The ICSI Process - How Does It Work Step by Step?

If, on the contrary, what you need is to read more in-depth about embryo transfer, we recommend you to visit this link: IVF Embryo Transfer Procedure - Definition, Process & Tips

Our editors have made great efforts to create this content for you. By sharing this post, you are helping us to keep ourselves motivated to work even harder.

References

Authors and contributors

 Blanca Paraíso
Blanca Paraíso
MD, PhD, MSc
Gynecologist
Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Ph.D from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Postgraduate Course in Statistics of Health Sciences. Doctor specialized in Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Assisted Procreation. More information about Blanca Paraíso
License: 454505579
 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information about Cristina Mestre Ferrer
 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Embryologist
Graduate in Health Biology from the University of Alcalá and specialized in Clinical Genetics from the same university. Master in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Valencia in collaboration with IVI clinics. More information about Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Adapted into english by:
 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Embryologist
Graduate in Health Biology from the University of Alcalá and specialized in Clinical Genetics from the same university. Master in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Valencia in collaboration with IVI clinics. More information about Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez

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