How Active Can I Be During an IVF Cycle?
Summer is officially in full swing: bring on the barbecues, lounging by the pool and endless hours spent enjoying the outdoors. As much as many of us love summertime fun, it can be mentally and physically exhausting no matter your fitness level or age – especially if you are going through fertility treatments.
Know Your Limits
Overall good health and physical fitness are of the utmost importance for any woman undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. In fact, studies have shown that a healthy BMI has a positive effect on IVF success. Oftentimes, patients turn to exercise to increase their endorphins and maintain some semblance of control during this demanding process, especially when it is nice outside. During the IVF cycle, it is important to consult with your doctor on what your level of physical activity should be, while always listening to your body throughout the process to ensure the safest results.
Adjusting for The Cycle
When you begin your IVF cycle there are many steps and procedures to consider. During IVF or egg-freezing procedures, medications are prescribed that intend to stimulate a person’s ovaries. Normally, an ovary produces one egg per month, but during an IVF cycle, the hope is to produce multiple eggs for retrieval. When the ovaries become enlarged, they become very sensitive and susceptible to ovarian torsion, a situation in which the ovary twists around itself, cutting off the blood supply.
When you begin your IVF cycle, even if you are used to exercising very often, you might need to reevaluate your normal workout routine. Rigorous activity or high-impact exercise, such as running, jumping, cycling, or HIIT training, can increase the chances of ovarian torsion. We recommend that our patients undergoing IVF refrain from those types of exercise during treatment.
There are alternative ways to stay active during your IVF cycle. We suggest more gentle activities, such as walking, lightweights, and mild forms of yoga, provide opportunities for patients to exercise without the increased risk of torsion. Low-impact exercises that encourage stress reduction are going to be the safest during this time of treatment.