IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is one of the most preferred fertility treatments with a high success rate. In this procedure, washed sperm are injected into the woman’s uterus to fertilize the eggs in the fallopian tubes.
The time after this procedure is very crucial as it determines whether the egg gets fertilized and implants in the uterus. Any complications in the process can affect success rates.
So, women need to follow some self-care practices like eating a healthy diet, avoiding unhealthy practices like alcohol and smoking, and sleeping in the right positions.
In this article, let us look into detail the importance of sleeping positions after IUI and how it can impact the success rate of the procedure.
Best Sleeping Position After IUI Treatment
Elevating your hips
Each woman is different, and you may find a particular sleeping position comfortable for you. But there are some sleeping positions that can not only make you relax after IUI but also increase the chance of pregnancy.
After the sperm have been injected into the uterus, they have to swim to the fallopian tube to fertilize the mature egg there. Elevating your hips can help the sperm make use of gravity and move quickly toward the eggs. Here’s how you can do it.
- Place a pillow below your hips and lie down.
- Stay in this position for about 15–20 minutes.
This position can enhance the movement of the sperm and potentially increase the chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
Sleeping on your side
This is the position that most doctors recommend for pregnant women. Sleeping on your side, especially on the left side, has numerous health benefits for you and your baby. Here are some benefits of sleeping on your left side.
- It increases the blood flow to the reproductive organs, providing the uterus with the necessary nutrients for implantation.
- It puts less pressure on your vena cava, the vein that carries blood from your lower body to the heart.
- It relieves back pain and promotes digestion and the healthy functioning of the kidneys.
Use pillows for additional support
If you start getting uncomfortable while sleeping in any position, you can use pillows to support your body. Here are some positions where you can use a pillow for more comfort.
- While sleeping on your side, placing a pillow between your legs can reduce discomfort in your lower body.
- While sleeping on your back, placing a pillow below your knees can relieve pain in your lower back and improve blood flow.
- You can also use U or C-shaped pillows during your second and third trimesters.
Avoid This Sleeping Position After IUI Treatment
Though sleeping positions mostly depend on a woman’s comfort, there are some positions that you should avoid after an IUI treatment. Below is one such position.
Sleeping on your stomach
Avoid sleeping on your belly after an IUI treatment. This position can put pressure on your uterus and affect the implantation rate.
Pregnant women should also avoid sleeping on their belly. It will not only be uncomfortable for them, but the position also puts a lot of pressure on the fetus. The baby has to bear the weight of the mother’s body.
Importance of Sleeping After IUI
A well-rested and comfortable body is important for a woman’s health. It is even more important when you are undergoing fertility treatment. Below are how sleep can affect a woman’s well-being and her chances of getting pregnant.
An adequate amount of sleep is required for hormonal balance. Having proper sleep promotes the production of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Inadequate sleep can affect the production of progesterone in the body. So, follow a proper sleeping schedule during IUI treatments.
Infertility and the subsequent treatments can be physically and mentally straining. In these tough times, a good night’s sleep can help you reduce stress and calm your mind by improving the function of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis.
Immune system support
Proper sleep also helps with your immune system. Proper functioning of the immune system is vital to avoid infections and for the health of the mother and growing embryo.
Your body is the most relaxed during sleep. During this period, it carries out important functions like cell repair, tissue repair, etc. This also helps with the successful implantation of the embryo in the uterine lining.
Improved blood flow
An adequate amount of sleep also promotes the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps with the dilation of blood vessels and improves blood flow.
A good blood flow will be beneficial for implantation and subsequent embryo development as it can provide the necessary nutrients to the embryo.
Post-IUI is the period when you will be most anxious, wondering whether the treatment worked or not. This can lead to mood swings and affect your emotional well-being.
A good sleep before and after IUI can help elevate your mood and also help with implantation.
How Long Should You Lay Down After an IUI?
The insemination procedure is when the sperm are injected into your uterus. It is a semi-invasive procedure and may cause some discomfort. So, resting in bed for about 10–20 minutes after the procedure can help you relax and recover your energy.
Some studies have also shown that the implantation rate is higher for women who rested after the procedure than for those who got up right away. However, the results are not obsolete and implantation mostly depends on the embryo and uterine receptivity.
Is it OK to Bend Over After IUI?
It is okay to do some minor activities like walking or climbing the stairs. You can also do some minor exercises to not be too sedentary.
But, take note to avoid doing strenuous exercise or lifting heavy weights. Don’t move suddenly or lean forward or backward. In short, avoid doing any physical activity that will put pressure on your body.
The success of an IUI treatment depends on various factors and sleeping position is only one of them. Apart from this, you should also take note of your daily habits like exercise, diet, lifestyle, etc.
It is generally advised to avoid strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting for at least 24 hours following IUI. Climbing stairs may increase the strain on your pelvic region, increasing the chance of discomfort or bleeding. It is advised to rest for a day or two following the surgery and avoid heavy activity.
No, avoid sleeping on your stomach after an IUI procedure. When you sleep on your stomach, your body puts pressure on your abdomen. This can affect the implantation rate and cause IUI failure.
Yes, sperm can leak out of the cervix after IUI, especially if you get up and move around right away. However, the amount of sperm that leaks out is usually minimal and has no impact on the procedure’s outcome.
To limit the danger of sperm leakage, it is normally advised to lie down for 10-20 minutes following the procedure.