Mar 24

Should You Exercise during IVF Treatment?

San Antonio IVF and Exercise - Fertility Treatment

Posted on March 24, 2015 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

A young couple in an embrace, smiling contentedly after successful IVF treatmentAs someone who is considering IVF, you probably have a number of questions in your mind right now. Some are likely “big picture” questions about the procedure, your health, and the health of your future child. Others might have to do with more practical, everyday concerns, such as the lifestyle changes and other compromises you will have to make during your treatment. Some patients feel nervous about approaching us with questions about these “smaller” matters, feeling that they are trivial in light of the more important issue of bringing a beautiful new life into the world. On the contrary, there are no questions too unimportant to ask. We welcome all questions with open minds.

Among the questions we most commonly receive from prospective IVF patients is whether they are able to exercise while undergoing IVF treatment and, if so, how much exercise is too much. During consultations between our renowned fertility specialists and our patients at our infertility clinic in San Antonio, IVF and exercise are among the topics we frequently discuss so that patients know exactly what to expect when they commit to treatment.

The Connection between Weight and IVF

There is a strong connection between weight and fertility. Being significantly overweight or underweight can cause fertility problems. Likewise, being significantly overweight or underweight can make it more difficult to conceive via IVF treatment. If you are currently overweight, you would be well advised to concentrate on dieting and exercising before undergoing IVF. You may find that this improves your chances of natural conception, thereby eliminating your need for fertility therapy; however, if you do still require IVF, it will certainly improve your chances of successful conception.

If you are significantly underweight, you will want to work on gaining weight before undergoing IVF. Again, this could improve your chances of natural conception. This does not mean that you should stop exercising and begin eating fatty foods, however. Work with your doctor toward finding healthy ways to reach and maintain a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) for your height.

Exercise before and during IVF

In the month or two leading up to your IVF cycle, you will want to find a good cardiovascular and strength-training program. This will help you to prepare your body for a successful IVF cycle.

Once you have begun your IVF cycle, you will want to continue being active, but tone down your exercise regimen a bit. Light exercise such as walking is strongly encouraged; however, running and weightlifting can actually decrease your chances of becoming pregnant while increasing your risk of ovarian torsion. Ovarian torsion is a rare but extremely serious condition in which the ovary twists on itself.

A good rule of thumb is this: as long as you are on your feet and moving at least 30 minutes a day during your IVF treatment, you are probably getting enough exercise. If, however, you are exerting yourself to the extent that you cannot hold a normal conversation without running out of breath, you probably need to scale back. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending you, and your IVF treatment will go great.

Contact Our Fertility Center Today

To learn more about IVF and exercise, please contact our fertility center today.

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