Legal Articles

July 3, 2013

Bed rest not helpful after IVF

Doctors have often counseled women to go on bed rest following their in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, the theory being that it makes the woman’s body more likely to accept the fertilized egg. This practice may no longer be advised, however, as a new study has found that “despite being common practice, [bed rest] did not help women ultimately have a baby.”

Too much rest may be harmful

Dr. Jani Jensen, a fertility expert with the Mayo Clinic, said this should be proof that “you don’t need bed rest in any way, shape, or form” in order to conceive. Previously, many doctors offices suggested women remain prone for at least 10 minutes before leaving the clinic after IVF. Other offices took the idea to an extreme, requiring hours or even days of bed rest. Previous studies, however, actually have found that extended bed rest might actually hurt a woman’s chances of delivering a full-term, healthy baby.

Women without bed rest have higher birth rates

The study looked at 240 women who were undergoing the IVF procedure. Half of the women were randomly assigned to lie still for 10 minutes after insertion, while the other half were allowed to rise immediately. In the end, just 50 of the women who stayed on bed rest for 10 minutes delivered a baby, compared to 68 of the women in the other group.

Doctors have yet to pinpoint the reason for this difference in success rates. One possibility the study authors proposed was, “We believe that encouraging patients to follow their daily routine after [embryo transfer] may help them to cope with anxiety during treatment and thereafter to increase their skills in maintaining relaxation throughout the treatment.”

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