At the Center for Assisted Reproduction, our IVF patients often turn to us with questions about lifestyle changes they will have to make in order to promote their chances of successful conception. In some cases, well-meaning loved ones have already given them advice, some of which has elements of truth in it, some of which is a bit - well, off. Thankfully, our skilled fertility experts are always there to provide knowledgeable counsel and straightforward, honest answers to our patients’ questions.
Among the most common questions posed by our patients is “Can I exercise while undergoing IVF?” During consultations at the Center for Assisted Reproduction in Dallas, exercise and IVF are discussed in detail so that our patients know exactly what to expect and what is in their best interests during treatment. Some patients come into their consultations believing that they should exercise heavily in order to improve their chances of having a child, while others assume that the best course of action is simply to “take it easy” and avoid exercise altogether. The truth, as we advise them, is actually somewhere in the middle.
Before Undergoing IVF
If you are currently having difficulty becoming pregnant and you are considering IVF, you would be well advised to exercise and eat healthy. If you are overweight, focus on becoming as close to a healthy weight as you can. This will improve your chances of becoming pregnant both naturally and, if necessary, through IVF.
Before your IVF cycle, your goals should include:
- Reaching and maintaining a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) for your height
- Maintaining a good cardiovascular and strength training regimen for several months prior to your IVF cycle
During IVF Treatment
Once your IVF cycle has started, you will want to remain active, but scale your exercise regimen down to include light exercise and non-strenuous activities such as gardening and walking. Vigorous exercise such as running and weight lifting can decrease your chances of becoming pregnant while increasing your risk of ovarian torsion, a rare but serious condition in which the ovary twists on itself.
On the other hand, light exercise and regular activity offer tremendous benefits during the IVF cycle, as they reduce stress and help to enhance a person’s overall sense of well-being. People who exercise tend to sleep better and lead generally healthier lives, both of which can contribute to the success of IVF treatment.
There is no perfect rule when it comes to how much exercise is too little or too much during an IVF cycle, but common sense can go a long way. If you cannot maintain a conversation while you are walking, you are probably overdoing it. On the other hand, if you aren’t on your feet and moving at least 30 minutes a day, you probably should be. Your body will tell you when you need to relax and when you could benefit from being up and about. Listen attentively, and you should be fine.
Learn More about Exercise and IVF
To learn more about exercise and IVF, please contact the Center for Assisted Reproduction today.