Is it Safe to Exercise throughout IVF Treatment?
When a woman is pregnant, the body undergoes many changes as hormone levels fluctuate and the body begins preparation for nourishing a growing baby. The same is true of IVF, an assisted reproductive treatment. Throughout the stages of IVF, fertility medication alters the hormone levels of our patients and the body is prepared to produce a healthy egg and then carry it once it has been fertilized outside of the uterus. With the many changes that the body is going through, patients are often left confused about whether there is a need to alter any of their lifestyle habits. In particular, women often question whether it is safe to exercise for the duration of IVF treatment. At the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, we advise our Omaha patients that IVF and exercise can be a safe combination as long as certain precautions are followed.
We always want our patients to be in the best physical health that is possible, and proper nutrition and a good exercise routine are certainly important to a person’s overall well-being. Because of this, we believe that it is important to remain physically active throughout IVF treatment. However, in order to ensure a patient’s safety and comfort throughout treatment, while avoiding an increased risk of complications, we do ask that our patients take certain precautions when it comes to exercising throughout IVF treatment. Below are some steps that can be taken to ensure that patients get the health benefits of exercise without causing discomfort or complications:
- Stick to exercises that are low-impact (walking, yoga, stretching, etc.)
- Avoid exercises that are overly strenuous
- Avoid the use of heavy weights
- Do not push yourself past the point of comfort
- Always exercise in moderation
- Do not start a new exercise routine during IVF treatment without first consulting your doctor
Risks of High-impact Exercises
IVF treatment does have a low risk of resulting in complications for patients. In order to ensure that those risks stay low, we ask patients to avoid high-impact exercises and overly strenuous activities for the duration of IVF treatment. The potential risk of high-impact exercises while undergoing IVF is the development of ovarian torsion. Patients are at an increased risk of developing ovarian torsion during IVF treatment because the fertility medications that are used to promote ovulation cause the ovaries to become enlarged. If stress is placed on these enlarged ovaries (such as that which would occur during high-impact exercises), the ovaries may become twisted. Ovarian torsion is a painful condition and may result in sharp, sudden pain in the lower abdomen. It may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever. To avoid this uncomfortable complication of IVF treatment, we ask patients to take all appropriate precautions when participating in exercise and physical activities.
Schedule an Appointment
At the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, we strive to help patients through their infertility struggles while focusing on patient comfort and satisfaction throughout treatment. If you are interested in learning more about our wide range of reproductive treatments, schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!