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Safe Exercise During IVF

How To Exercise Safely During IVF

If you are used to working out, playing sports or exercising regularly, you probably have some questions about how to move your body safely when you’re doing IVF, IUI or on fertility medications. Here are some guidelines for safe exercise during IVF. 

 

 

Continuing to exercise might be extremely important for you, especially if physical activity is essential to your mental wellness.

 

 

The following are my guidelines for exercise during IVF or other fertility treatments. Please note that they are MINE. You, your doctor, and other professionals may have different ones. It is up to you to learn what is best for you. This is what I have learned based on my own research, the courses I have taken, and my experience. 

Safe IVF Exercise Guideline #1: Listen To Your Body

Your intuition is a powerful and underutilized resource. Every body is different. Different bodies react differently to the same drug. The same body will react differently day-to-day.

 

 

If your body is full of energy waiting to be released, listen to that. On the other hand, you don’t have to do a certain workout just because it was scheduled, and especially not if your body is telling you “no”.

 

 

Be aware of the symptoms or side affects you are experiencing, both physical and emotional. Don’t ignore the signals that your body is sending you.

Safe IVF Exercise Guideline #2: Listen To Your Doctor

If your fertility doctor doesn’t tell you if you should or shouldn’t continue your normal workout routine, ask them. They may have a good idea of the common side effects of the treatment you are undertaking.

Safe IVF Exercise Guideline #3: If you might be pregnant, exercise as though you are pregnant

In other words, take it easy during the Two Week Wait. Implantation can occur two or three days after your IVF transfer. 

 

You can try gentle yoga (like fertility yoga), walking, or modifying your regular exercise. Avoid movements that overheat your body or stress you out. 

 

Early pregnancy (after IVF transfer you are Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise) is not the time to start a new kind of exercise regime. If you’re used to doing intense exercise like CrossFit or spin classes, then continuing might not be any added stress on your body. Starting something new that you’ve never done before however could confuse your body and affect your hormones. 

 

Certain books/doctors/professionals recommend stopping exercise altogether in the beginning of your pregnancy, but I think if I did that I would go nuts. Keeping your stress low during these weeks should be your priority. 

Other Tips for Safe Exercise During IVF

When you are taking ovarian stimulating drugs ( ex. Clomid/Letrozole/FSH/Menopur, Puregon, Human Growth Hormone), you may have physical side effects.

 

 

If you experience bloating or sensitivity in the ovaries:

 

  • Avoid abdominal twists
  • Avoid pressure to your belly, like crunches, deep squats, or pulling your knees to your chest

If you experience hot flashes:

 

  • Skip the cardio for the days you’re taking the drug

If you are told you are stimulating too fast:

 

  • Avoid legs up the wall pose
 
One last word on safe exercise during IVF: Some people like to take it easy so that if the cycle is unsuccessful that they will not blame themselves thinking that they pushed their body too hard. Others find that slowing down or changing their exercise routine will leave them too anxious. You need to decide what is best for you.
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