bed rest

It drives me crazy that my clinic instructs 48 hours of bed rest following embryo transfers.

I’ve scoured the Internet for a medical journal article that lends credence to this practice. As far as I can tell, there are none. I did find an abstract of a Czech study suggesting the opposite:  that IVF patients subjected to 24 hour hospital bed rest tended towards worse outcomes than those who were not.

If anything, post-transfer bed rest seems grounded in Victorian myths of female bodies.  One of these myths is that that the vagina is a hole that things fall out of if you’re not lying down.

When your uterus wants to get rid of something – endometrial tissue, dead embryos, live fetuses – it usually has to work hard to do so.  How can we be so compelled by a myth that experience proves false?

It’s nice to take days off from work. It’s nice to nap all day. It’s nice to be catered to. But I find it uncomfortable to rely on pseudoscience –least of all pseudoscience that deploys sexist anachronisms – as an excuse.


6 Responses to “bed rest”

  1. I think you may be uncovering some medical horse %^&! A cervix’s job is to stay closed in the outbound lane. And it does that well until its ready to open under very specific circumstances. I think there is also some sort of uterus as a garden soil with seed being planted imagery, also Victorian and inaccurate. People are evolved to move and probably much more than we currently do in our verging on sedentary society.
    I fully trust your research skills but anytime you need I can put a call in to my retired researcher father who still has full access to medical journals . He needs things to do. He doesn’t have grandchildren, yet. 😉

  2. good points! does the clinic have a statement regarding bedrest, beyond verbal recommendations? Could it be more of a legal than a medical issue? How do they ground (justify, support) their position? janet

  3. Any excuse for a lazy day is good enough for me 😉 Kidding aside, you have certainly good points. I never understood the whole bed rest after transfer thing, since implantation is supposed to happen 6-9DP/ER; so if you transfer on Day3, you’re actually walking around during the most “crucial” days. Just sayin’

  4. Bed rest irritates me in general. I friend of mine was recently put on bed rest for months late in her pregnancy. This inspired me to do some research on whether there’s scientific evidence for bed rest. I didn’t find any – it’s “conflicting” or nonexistent.

    Why does the medical community think it’s OK to put a pregnant woman on bed rest for months? Would they be so eager to do this with a man?

    “Better safe than sorry” is way overused wrt pregnancy.

  5. The study you cited is a pretty good argument for ignoring your doctor’s orders. Wow.

  6. You are quite right. I got stressed about being stressed when i was trying to get pregnant which made me more stressed, then remembered all those babies born during famine, war, back-breaking work… Still, my dear friend, you of all people deserve being catered too and relaxing. So, enjoy that yak research and dream up some awesome dinner to be brought to you in bed! xo

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