As an IVF specialist , I feel one of my roles is to bust a lot of the myths which surround IVF treatment. After all, the word doctor is derived from the word docere - which means to teach.
Its very disappointing how many IVF patients - as well as IVF doctors - continue to have so many misconceptions about basics about IVF .
One of the most misleading and harmful advice give to IVF patients is to take best rest after the embryo transfer .
I actually think bed rest reduces your chances of getting pregnant .
Now that may sound like a very provocative statement , so let me explain .
For one thing , physical bed rest will not increase the chances of the embryo implanting in the uterus. After all, your embryo cannot fall out of your uterus just because you cough or life weights ! Once its inside the uterus , it is as snug, safe and secure like a pearl in an oyster. Its been positioned in the exact same place which Mother Nature designed it to be - and it doesn't matter whether your embryo spends five days in the IVF lab incubator , or in your fallopian tube.
No amount of physical activity , diet , alcohol, caffeine or mental stress can affect what can happen to the embryo , and that's one reason why you need to stop about worrying about physical activity .
I also believe that bed rest reduces your chances of getting pregnant . When you are resting , blood flow to all organs is reduced , and this reduction also affects blood flow to the uterus . We know that exercise causes dilation of the blood vessels , which increases blood flow . If you rest, because the blood flow requirements go down , the amount of blood flow will also reduce , and this can't be good for any organ - including the uterus ! After all, if we encourage heart attack patients to start walking around as soon as possible, shouldnt IVF patients also do so ?
Finally, bed rest causes a lot of physical issues , such as back pain or muscle aches . This can have a negative impact on your mental peace of mind, because every little twinge you get makes you start worrying about whether your embryo is safe or not . Being in physical pain because of a backache cant be good for you !
Also, bed rest increases your mental stress levels needlessly. An idle mind becomes a devil's workshop , and when you are resting in bed all day long , you start getting all kinds of nightmares as to what will happen in case your cycle fails . This mental negativity is not good for you .
This is why you should stop treating yourself as a patient who requires bed rest after the embryo transfer ! The reality is you are not sick ! You are not a patient you are a healthy woman , and all we are doing is trying to help you get pregnant by bypassing your fallopian tubes and putting your embryo directly where it belongs - which is inside your uterus