What is Pelvic Rest?
Nearly all surrogates will be ordered on “pelvic rest” for at least part of their journey. In simplest terms, pelvic rest means that you are to abstain from sexual intercourse, orgasms (even those achieved by external methods), and insertion of anything into the vagina with the exception of medications.
Do note that pelvic rest is not the same as bed rest. You may be placed on rest following the embryo transfer, usually for a 24 hour period. You could also be placed on bed rest or pelvic rest later in the pregnancy, to ensure that you reach the 35 week gestation mark before delivery. This type of rest means to simply relax and rest. While using the restroom and sitting upright to eat are OK, lifting more than 10 pounds or exercising are generally to be avoided.
Pelvic rest will usually begin the day of your embryo transfer and will not end until your doctor clears you for normal sexual activity. This means that, just as every pregnancy is different, there will be a great varying of release times from pelvic rest.
All surrogates are asked to maintain pelvic rest for at least four weeks. While some surrogates may be released as soon as heartbeat confirmation, others may be asked to continue pelvic rest longer, sometimes through the course of the entire first trimester.
This variation can be caused by a variety of reasons including light bleeding, concerns over implantation, varying medical protocols, and conduct preferences of the intended parents.
Because of these varying conditions, it is important that you not follow guidelines given to any other surrogate or even given to you in another pregnancy or surrogacy. This pregnancy is unique to you and the medical protocol will be adjusted uniquely to your current situation.
If you have any questions about being released from pelvic rest or what allowances you may have, be sure to ask your individual nurse or care provider. They will have the best, most up to date information to your medical notes and will be able to provide you with the most personalized answer that ensures the best probability of success for your journey.