By Laura Garrido BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/12/2014

The main doubt that every woman presents after undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and embryo transfer is whether she should rest or not.

Some gynaecologists recommend complete rest, but there are several studies showing that complete rest may be not just unnecessary but also counterproductive.

As long as it is not a special case in which repose is specifically indicated, rest after the embryo transfer in IVF is not recommended.

During embryo transfer, those healthiest-looking embryos are selected and inserted by means of a cannula in order to increase the chances for implantation. This is not a painful technique and does not require any anaesthetic or painkiller. It just requires 15-25 minutes of rest at the clinic, and then the woman can continue with her normal lifestyle.

Unstressed women

Avoiding stress

Once at home, taking time off work or limiting everyday activities is not necessary, although very intense physical efforts are not recommended. There is no reason why going to the gym, going for a walk, shopping, etc. should not be allowed.

A 20-day period of inactivity might instead complicate matters, especially for most active women, who might see their stress and anxiety levels increased, since they become obsessed with IVF results and the pregnancy test. Thus, during the two-week wait, women should perform as much leisure activities as possible in order to be busy and this way reduce stress levels.

Women who do not have fertility problems and get pregnant naturally do not know the specific date in which they become pregnant. For this reason, they do not rest or reduce their everyday activities.

Authors and contributors

 Laura Garrido
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) of Seville, Spain. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Experience at IVF, andrology, and general analysis laboratories. Embryologist specialized in Assisted Reproduction. More information