An interesting randomized study by Jan van Rijswijk et al, titled Immobilization or mobilization after IUI: an RCT was published in October 2017 in Human Reproduction. The study answers the question which interests both experts and patients – does rest after ART, specifically IUI, improve pregnancy rates?
Prior RCTs reported a beneficial effect of supine immobilization for 15 min following IUI. However, these studies have been criticized for their inconsistency. Given the importance of the issue, authors have decided to conduct another, but good quality design study, to provide answers to the same question.
The study was conducted in a single academic center in the Netherlands. Couples diagnosed with unexplained or mild male subfertility and an indication for treatment with IUI were randomized in two groups. In the first group participants were immediately mobilized following IUI, and in the second they were assigned for 15 min of rest following IUI. A maximum of 6 cycles were performed in each couple.
There were 254 participants in the first group and 244 in the second. 76 out of 236 (32.2%) ongoing pregnancies have been accomplished in the immobilization group and 98 out of 245 (40%) ongoing pregnancies in the immediate mobilization group. The results reached no relevant differences meaning that neither approach is superior to the other (relative risk was 0.81; 95% CI [0.63, 1.02]). No difference was found in miscarriage rate, multiple gestation rate, time to pregnancy and live birth rate between the groups.
Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that there is no effect of rest following IUI on pregnancy rates.