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Artificial Insemination Works Better This Way

Women Who Lie Down for 15 Minutes After Undergoing Artificial Insemination May Be More Likely to Get Pregnant, Study Says
By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 30, 2009 -- Women undergoing artificial insemination who lie on their backs for 15 minutes after the procedure may increase their chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study.

During the procedure, officially called intrauterine insemination, the male’s sperm is inseminated into the uterine cavity. The researchers cite a 2000 study that had favorable findings with 10 minutes of lying down after intrauterine insemination, but the study was small and did not look at pregnancy outcomes.

The study from Inge Custers of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Amsterdam and colleagues included 391 couples. About half the women were randomly assigned to lie down for 15 minutes after the procedure, and the other half got up and moved right away. The ongoing pregnancy rate per couple was 27% for the women who laid down vs. 18% for the group that moved right away. Live birth rates were 27% in the women who laid down and 17% in the comparison group.

In an accompanying editorial, William Ledger from the University of Sheffield calls for clinics to test the procedure in clinics and see what results occur in the real world. “If successful, more couples could be spared the rigorous and costly process of in vitro fertilization,” he writes. “Future trials should assess the effect of different durations of immobilization.”

The study and an editorial are published in the journal BMJ.

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