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Advice after embryo transfer / article
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Advice after embryo transfer / article

Just thought some of you ladies would like to read this article I found.  These articles are quite common.  I work for a docotr and have access to medical articles and studies and I thought this was interesting.  Hope it helps.

One of the old wife's tales which still plagues every IVF patient is the myth that they need "strict" bed rest after the embryo transfer. Many patients are scared that the embryo will fall out if they walk around - after all, if it was inserted artificially, isn't there a risk that it can "fall out" through the " track " through which the doctor inserted it ?

I remind my patients that God designed the body with enough sense that walking, running, coughing and sneezing do not cause an embryo to fall out ! Embryos are safe and secure in the womb , and just because they have spent 48 hours in the incubator in the IVF lab does not change anything ! IVF allows us to mimic nature , and once the embryo has reached the uterus, it's exactly like an embryo "made in the bedroom" ( embryos do not have a memory !) After all, when fertile couples have sex and get pregnant naturally, they continue leading a completely normal life after sex , so why should IVF make any difference ? Enough medical studies have been done by many IVF clinic which prove that embryo implantation and pregnancy rates are not affected by rest; and patients can walk out just 10 minutes after the embryo transfer.

In fact, enforced bed rest can have a very unhealthy effect on the patient. Being forced to lie down in bed when you are well can be demoralising, so say the least. Taking a bed pan ( during "strict bed rest") can be extremely humiliating. Also, if you are forced to lie in bed, then you tend to spend all your time thinking about what the outcome is going to be - a very unhelpful process, because the outcome is no longer in your hands. As it is, during the dreaded 2ww ( two week wait between the embryo transfer and the pregnancy test), each minute seems to last for an hour. Lying in bed makes the time crawl even more slowly !

So why do some doctors still insist their patients take "bed rest" after embryo transfer. I think this is a very clever way of "victim blaming" ! If the patient does not get pregnant, they can always "blame" the patient for the failure, because she did not "rest" properly. The biggest tragedy is when the family members start believing this untruth.

I think patients ( and their loved ones) need to understand that activity does not have any impact on the embryo inside the uterus, because it is protected from external influences in its uterine haven. Implantation is a biological process which is not affect by external activity - or by gravity ! We suggest patients take it easy at home for 48 hours after the embryo transfer , after which we encourage them to resume work, so they can keep themselves gainfully occupied. This is actually more for their peace of mind, rather than because it changes the outcome. I always tell patients that if resting helped to increase pregnancy rates by even 1%, we'd happily keep them in hospital for even 15 days after the transfer !

There is a difference between transfer and implantation ! While embryo transfer is a simple mechanical procedure, implantation is a complex biochemical event which involves a dance of exchanged signals between the endometrium and the embryo - something which cannot be influenced by diet or activity !

Being infertile is bad enough - don't make it worse by forcing yourself to rest in bed when you don't need to !

Posted by Dr Aniruddha
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27 Comments Post a Comment
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353148_tn?1293064764
WOW, very interesting. My Dr always makes me stay in bed for 1 week and I was thinking next time I was just going to stay in bed for 2 days and then gradualy start back to life. This helps me know that is the right decision. THNX!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, 1 week.  That is allot.  My cousin who had her IVF done at the same place I did got up after laying down for 5 minutes and then went home and then relaxed the rest of the day and then resumed normal activity and she is pregnant with twins.  I guess it is all relative.  Good luck!
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353148_tn?1293064764
Well, I got Pg both times but lost them both and my hubby kept saying it was because it was so unhealthy to lay around for so long then get up and go back to my daily routine. He thought it was too stressful on my body that way. That's why I figured next time I will just do 2 days. I have a freind who had IUI and went out to eat imediatly after and is now almost 5 months....SO yes, I guess it is. Good Luck to you to hun.
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161938_tn?1212172749
i have had twins both time that I did less for a whole week - after bedrest for two days
but I think there are too many factors
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Avatar_n_tn
I think you just have to take it easy and not over do it.  I don't know what the right answer is.  I have had many friends who have gone through IVF and have all just taken it easy but not stopped all activities.  I have rested but gotten up to use the restroom and make me something to eat.  Tomorrow I will still take it easy but be more mobile.  I have a 3 year old and although I won't be lifting her but I will get up a little more.  Good luck, it will happen for you, I know it.

Aleks
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200957_tn?1236140523
I have read the same research on several articles. My doctor says the rest is for our peace of mind. After having to shoot ourselves up, medicate ourselves, the retrieval and the transfer, your BODY and mind needs a little rest. She says the implantation of the embryo does not happen with in 48 hours, so the resting for two days does not affect the implantation. The uterus is like a 24 pack of double lined Charmin. If the embryo is going to implant walking or activity is not going to prevent implantation. She did prohibt me from doing the eliptical, treadmill, or step machine prior to the transfer so my ovaries would not twist since they where basically inflammed. I say take the rest but get back to normal activities when you can so we are not laying in the bed reading every post on this forum (LOL!), and watching the clock. We need to keep ourselves busy.
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Avatar_n_tn
I completely agree with you.  I have been going a little stir crazy.  The rest was nice but I will start doing some things tomorrow.  I won't excercise like I normally do nor will I pick up my 3 year old but I will resume light duty.  When I have time to think I start the what if game and that initself drives me insane.  I know I am not the only one who does it but I aggravate myself.  I have heard different things on implantation so I don't know about that.  I was told that it depends on what day you have the transfer.  Whether it is 3 or 5 day transfer, but I am not sure.  Thanks for your post!
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353148_tn?1293064764
That all makes since to me. Man, I wish we could all just see the future so we would know when it is finaly going to be our day....
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200957_tn?1236140523
Just had my 3 day transfer. Before leaving I double checked about the activity. Nurse said we need to be on low activity as to not get our adreneline (I think I spelled this right), and endorphines up. We are on alot of hormones already. She said you can't pee, poop, sneeze, cough, push them out. Once they are in the uterus they can not come back out. That is why GOD made our cervix, I guess.
I was incorrect in my first post, implantation usually does take place within 2 days. I asked when will I start feeling pregnant if I am. She said usually if someone has been pregnant before they will usually start feeling little symptoms a few days before your pregnancy test or earlier. Those pregnant with twins feel it quicker.  But she said everyone is different. So regardless of the why's let's all enjoy the rest. We have enough "what if's" heavy on our mind.
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Avatar_n_tn
Congratulations on your transfer.  Hope everything goes well.  I am sure it will.  I am on my TWW, I stayed rested for 48 hours and today I am up and still takeing it easy but doing some stuff.  The RE and Embryologist told us that rest would not hurt but don't restrict yourself from eveything.  I think we do what makes us feel the best.  I know it will happen for all of us.

Take care!
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687615_tn?1267229875
This is very useful. Thank you. I was afraid that straining so much (on my transfer day 2) because of constipation may add an increased risk of the embryos falling out, as they won't have implanted yet. Also, I thought the uterus opening is as big as a straw, so the embryos could seep out accidentally. I guess this cannot happen though...
But before the embryo gets to blasto stage, where does it rest in the uterus? Does it move around, or rest on the lining before it can break out of its zona?
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Avatar_n_tn
It normally stays where they place it.  I did not have much bed rest after my IVF cycle because I have a 3 year old.  Our RE and Embryologist told us that you will be ok to go on with your normal daily activities except for major exercise.  I even got up to go urinate right after the transfer and am almost 17 weeks pregnant.  Good luck and don't worry about the straining.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hello:
This morning I had one embryo transfered. Today I have been taking it easy and I intend to keep doing so for a couple more days.
My question is: after 3 days, can I go back to my regular exercise routine? (spinning class and training with a personal coach). Exercise helps me deal with stress and the idea of not being able to exercise for ten days (until I take the pregnancy test) that will be high on stress (as I anxiously wait to find out whether IVF has been successful or not) feels scary.
Thank you.
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768616_tn?1322669420
hi,iam in my 4dpET.anout excercise,i would say u shouldnot do any knid of ecxercise in this 10 days,thats what my RE suggested me no ecercise,no lifting not more than 10 lb,if u realy wanna do some kind of excercise u can go for walk that also not brisk walk just light walk,u should take rest atleast 48 hours.takecare.goodluck. when is ur bloodwork???
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much! It all makes sense! I read millions of posts and I find this one so amazing and helpful.
I am on my way home from work and saw my bus at the bus stop so had to run about 10 metres and then got a bit worried..
I had ET on 26 november 2010 and had cramps from day 3. I know it's normal and believe that my two embryos are very comfy in my uterus. One more week wait! Fingers crossed. Thank you for making it all clear!
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961574_tn?1402509153
Very Interesting.... and true I bet!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had one failed IVFembryo transfer in February 2011 - chemical pregnancy.  I was on complete bed-rest for two days and hardly did anything until 1st pregnancy test.  The waiting, doing hardly anything, stressed me out.  You see, I find release and relaxation in walking or running.

In April 2011, I got a second IVF, embryo transferred about 5 days ago. Yesterday,  I googled "exercising during the first trimester" and most searches said "continue same way as you were doing before pregnancy, listen to your body".  So today I went for a run for about an hour.  Came back home and this time googled "embryo transfer jogging" and they say that wait until blood test.  Will my embryo come out because I went jogging?  I am so scared? I will not do it again! What are the dangers of exercising 5 days after embryo transfer?
Euudy
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I did bedrest for 2-3 days after ET .. didn't pick up our's dogs' bag of food, didn't even pick up the milk jug! And being careful didn't help at all, got BFN on April 19.. Saving up to do another cycle (we are lucky enough to have two frozen blasts) and I think I will take it easy the day of the transfer and take it easy the following week, but am not going to confine myself to the bed or couch again..
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Hi Lexi
I had ET this morning and am resting in bed.  I would like to check what are the best food and fruits to eat during the 14 days waiting period.
Yvonne
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I am getting IVF done this week. Thank u for all the posts. I find it helpful knowing there r other people going through the same thing. I wish u guys all the luck in the work:)
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Avatar_f_tn
hi ladies, thank you for all our commons. i had my transfer done D5 on the 15th. i am 40 years old and excited. This is my first time. i am just started yesterday walking for about 5 miles a day. my doc told me to avoid running and lifting. so i will do just easy walk. do you ladies think 5 miles walking is lot? thank you:)
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks! I read some articles, mostly from patients- they suggested things that does not make sense at all! Avoid dairy product, tea, etc.
My clinic did not sugggest anything except moderation in activity, healthy diet (nothing specific), and keep thinking positive!
Today I had a call with a friend, with failed ivf and negative, pessimist view.
Uschhh! Get away! I am healthy, positive, optimist and determine to look forward for great news ahead =).
Amen.
Mother to be, Sweden.
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Hej Sofia. Yesterday I did half an hour walking, and I felt great =).
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1363194_tn?1383075437
Oh M Gee!!! Thank you for this. I transferred yesterday and my allergies have me coughing and sneezing like crazy. I've been soooooo worried
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Avatar_f_tn
I caught with severe to heavy cough and sneezing post ET...i am taking Bendryl....is it safe? Did heavy cough and sneezing effect the implantation of my embruos? Plz help me in this regard...
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Ues
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Avatar_f_tn
Check with your DR. After my first  if cycle in 2013 I was throwing up and carrying on. A BFN. Could be from overstimulation. Just had a  3 Day ET 1 8-cell high quality grade 1! Beta on 9/3... Fingers crossed. 11 retrieved 9 mature but 1 fertilized.
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