By Cristina Mestre Ferrer BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/27/2014

ICSI is an assisted reproductive treatment in which egg fertilisation is performed by sperm selected by morphology. For this reason, it is performed at the laboratory. After egg insemination, a follow-up is conducted to see embryo development. Embryo quality will be determined depending on the embryo cleavage rate.

Healthiest-looking embryos will be the ones chosen for the transfer into the woman’s uterus. The transfer is usually performed on day 3, although there are some cases in which it is recommended to perform it on day 5.

Rest following ICSI

Embryo transfer is a very simple process which does not require anaesthetic –since it is not a painful procedure. It usually lasts up to 15 minutes. A cannula containing the embryos is inserted into the vagina and loaded into the uterus by the gynaecologist. Once the procedure is finished, women are recommended to rest during 15-30 minutes before leaving the assisted reproduction clinic.

Coping with stress and anxiety

Once at home, it is not necessary to rest after the transfer, she can continue with her normal lifestyle, unless it is a special case and complete rest is specifically indicated by the health care provider.

Stress relief after ICSI

Rest during the following two weeks before performing the beta-hCG test does not increase the chances for success of ICSI. On the contrary, if no activity is conducted, stress may increase and make the woman get obsessed with pregnancy and its symptoms. All in all, this only generates anxiety.

Doing moderate physical exercise is highly recommended. For this reason, going for a walk or even playing sports, as long as it does not require a strong physical effort, may be indicated for stress relief. In addition, arranging plans with friends and performing different activities will make the two-week wait all the more pleasant.

Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
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