For women undergoing IVF, every small factor can affect their success rates. Their eating habits, lifestyle, exercise, and stress management are some factors that play a major role in a successful pregnancy.
Couples usually consult their fertility doctors for safety precautions they must follow after embryo transfer has been completed successfully. Sleeping positions is one of the questions they often ask.
Can sleeping positions affect IVF success rates? What is the best sleeping position after IVF treatments? Read this article to know all about sleeping positions and whether they have an influence on IVF success rates.
Most Comfortable Sleeping Position After IVF
There is no “one” comfortable position for all women. Each woman’s body is different, and each may find a position comfortable. However, there are some common positions that are not only comfortable for women but also help them relax after embryo transfer.
Sleep on your back
Sleeping on your back will be comfortable during your first trimester. This position can help promote blood flow to the uterus, reduce pressure on the abdomen, and promote relaxation.
However, it may become uncomfortable during your second and third trimesters because the baby’s increasing weight can cause back pain and health issues.
Your baby grows as days go by. If you sleep on your back, your body might have to bear the full weight of your baby, your uterus, and all other organs. This may lead to backache, low blood pressure, and blood circulation issues.
Sleep on your side
This is by far the most comfortable and relaxing sleeping position for you during any period of your pregnancy, especially during your second and third trimesters.
Regarding which side you should lie on, fertility doctors often recommend pregnant women sleep on their left side. Here are some benefits of sleeping on your left side during pregnancy.
This puts less pressure on your vena cava (a large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart).
The flow of blood and nutrients to the uterus is good in this position.
Kidneys function better, resulting in better expulsion of waste products. This can help with swelling in the ankles, feet, and hands.
This doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid sleeping on your right side. It is just that the baby’s weight can put some pressure on your vena cava. So, you should take note of it and change your position if you feel any discomfort.
Use pillows for support
You may feel fine sleeping during the early stages of your pregnancy, but as days pass and the baby grows, you may start feeling some discomfort and body ache. To prevent this, you can try using a pillow or cushion to support your body and alleviate your pain.
Here are some tips on how you can use pillows and cushions to make your sleep time more comfortable.
While sleeping on your side, you can place a pillow between your legs to reduce discomfort in the lower part of your body. This also helps align your spine and provides additional support to your body.
If you like to sleep on your back, you can keep pillows under your knees to relieve some pressure on your lower back and improve blood flow.
During your second trimester, you can use either U or C-shaped pregnancy pillows. You can also use a firm mattress while sleeping.
During the third trimester, some people may not feel comfortable with the pregnancy pillows. They can instead use wedge pillows, which they can place under their stomach and behind their back.
You can also try using pads to support your hips, back, and knee. This can keep you comfortable and relaxed during sleep.
Sleeping positions to avoid
Comfort is the most important factor when it comes to sleep. But it is not the only thing that matters. Some sleeping positions can cause adverse results and health issues for you and your baby
Sleeping on your stomach
It is okay to sleep on your stomach during the early stages of your pregnancy when your baby bump has just started showing.
But most doctors don’t recommend this position because it can cause some strain on the baby in your belly. The baby will have to bear the weight of your body.
Not only that, this position may also be uncomfortable for you as the bump will hinder you from having a good sleep. Blood circulation will also be poor in this position. So, try avoiding sleeping on your stomach as much as possible.
Does the sleeping position after IVF affect the success rate
There is no proven study that says sleeping positions can affect your IVF success rate. Yet, evidence suggests that sleeping positions can, in a way, improve fertility and affect the success rate. Though the impact of sleeping positions is not direct, they might help keep you relaxed and comfortable during pregnancy.
A well-rested body is essential for the healthy development and growth of the baby. You need to be physically and emotionally stable to get through the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Some studies have also proved that certain sleeping positions can increase the blood flow to the uterus, thus increasing the chances of embryo implantation and successful pregnancy.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule
As you already know, sleep is an important aspect of ensuring a smooth IVF pregnancy journey. Maintaining regular, scheduled sleep patterns is recommended to get proper and deep sleep.
Those who follow an irregular or minimal sleep time are more prone to developing pregnancy issues like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, longer labor period, and higher chances of preterm labor.
To avoid all the above issues, make sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep a day and take rest naps whenever you feel tired or exhausted.
You know how much stress and emotional turmoil you underwent to get pregnant through IVF. So, taking the necessary precautions to sustain it is essential to avoid leading to any complications.
Talk with your fertility doctor or other women who underwent the process and get suggestions on sleeping positions that will be most beneficial during this period. You can also try for yourself and see which sleeping positions make you feel comfortable.
Frequently asked questions
Apart from sleeping positions, there are some precautions that you can follow to boost your chances of IVF success. Here are some of them.
- Avoid strenuous physical activities
- Avoid long-duration travel
- Follow a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking & drinking
As long as you are comfortable, any sleeping position is fine. But it will be better if you sleep on your left side. This can improve blood circulation and put less pressure on your body.
You can sleep on your stomach during the early stage of your pregnancy. But as your baby bump grows, it might be uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach. Your baby might also have to bear your weight if you sleep on your stomach.