Should You Rest After Embryo Transfer in IVF?

By BSc, MSc (embryologist), MD, PhD, MSc (gynecologist), BSc, MSc (embryologist) and (invitra staff).
Last Update: 02/09/2021

After the embryo transfer during IVF it is very common for patients to worry about whether they should rest.

Once you have reached this point in the treatment, fear of doing any activity that may affect the embryo and its implantation in the uterus is normal. However, in this article, we will look at the reasons why rest is not necessary after IVF.

Do I need to rest after IVF?

After an embryo transfer, the process by which the embryo is deposited in the uterus when assisted reproductive technologies such as conventional IVF or ICSI is performed, it is very common for the patient to ask if she should rest. The answer is that it is not necessary, as long as the specialist has not expressly indicated that it should be done.

Many fertility clinics recommend that their patients rest briefly after the embryo transfer. This time can range from 5-30 minutes. Thus, the patient is reassured, although the embryo transfer to the uterus is painless and does not require anesthesia.

When the woman leaves the clinic, she can lead a normal life and maintain her daily routines. However, it is important to bear in mind a number of recommendations:

  • Avoid heavy physical exertion, such as carrying too much weight.
  • Avoid very intense sport.

If the patient follows all the specialist's advice after the embryo transfer, she should not worry about whether the embryo will be expelled. If the pregnancy test is finally negative, the patient should not feel guilty for not having rested completely. There is no scientific evidence that rest after embryo transfer improves the results of IVF treatment.

Avoiding stress

Once the embryo has been deposited in the uterus, you have to wait for one of the most decisive moments of the assisted reproduction treatment: the pregnancy test. This period is known as two-week-wait and usually lasts between 12-15 days, which is the time needed for the pregnancy test result to be reliable.

Although the pregnancy test is an important moment, the patient should be relaxed and not obsess about the possible result during the two-week-wait. This could cause increased levels of stress and anxiety, which would be counterproductive to the success of treatment.

For all these reasons, the general recommendation of the specialists is to return to routine, to keep busy without making great physical efforts, and to remain calm at all times.

If you need to undergo IVF to become a mother, we recommend that you generate your Fertility Report now. In 3 simple steps, it will show you a list of clinics that fit your preferences and meet our strict quality criteria. Moreover, you will receive a report via email with useful tips to visit a fertility clinic for the first time.

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.

What advice can I follow after IVF?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez BSc, MSc (embryologist).

It is important that you keep calm and don't obssess about the result.

You can go for a walk, meet with friends and lead a normal life without much physical effort; a life that keeps you active and without thinking about the pregnancy test.

Find more tips for the time after embryo transfer here: What to do after embryo transfer?

Can I smoke after embryo transfer?

By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).

Smoking can affect not only embryonic and fetal development in case of pregnancy, but also fertility if you try to conceive. Therefore, smoking is not recommended either before or after embryo transfer.

Suggested for you

For more information and recommendations on what to do after the embryo transfer, we advise you to read this article: After embryo transfer: recommendations and symptoms.

If what you need is more information about the embryo transfer process, you can 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

Amarin ZO, Obeidat BR. Bed rest versus free mobilisation following embryo transfer: a prospective randomised study. BJOG. 2004 Nov;111(11):1273-6.

Cozzolino M, Troiano G, Esencan E. Bed rest after an embryo transfer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2019 Nov;300(5):1121-1130.

Gaikwad S, Garrido N, Cobo A, Pellicer A, Remohi J. Bed rest after embryo transfer negatively affects in vitro fertilization: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Fertil Steril. 2013 Sep;100(3):729-35.

Purcell KJ, Schembri M, Telles TL, Fujimoto VY, Cedars MI. Bed rest after embryo transfer: a randomized controlled trial. Fertil Steril. 2007 Jun;87(6):1322-6.

FAQs from users: 'Do I need to rest after ICSI?', 'What advice can I follow after IVF?' and 'Can I smoke after embryo transfer?'.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
 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
 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
BSc, MSc
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
License: 3435-CV
Adapted into english by:
 Romina Packan
Romina Packan
inviTRA Staff
Editor and translator for the English and German edition of inviTRA. More information about Romina Packan

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