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    Exercise During IVF: Proven Dos and Don’ts

    Updated 30 November 2021 |
    Published 20 September 2019
    Fact Checked
    Anna Klepchukova
    Reviewed by Anna Klepchukova, Flo chief medical officer, UK
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Does in vitro fertilization lead to weight gain? Many believe IVF and its associated medications can cause you to gain extra weight. If this has become a concern for you, read on to learn the safest way to shed excess weight during your IVF cycle.

    Can you work out during an IVF cycle?

    Studies suggest that exercising before an IVF cycle improves clinical pregnancy rates. However, if you’re worried too much physical activity might hurt your chances of getting pregnant, you’re not alone. 

    According to experts, it’s a good idea to ramp down those intense training sessions, but don’t stop exercising altogether. The practice of maintaining a healthy body weight has been linked to successful fertilization. So feel free to continue doing doctor-approved, low-impact exercises. But remember, it’s less about how often you work out, and more about which exercises you’re doing. 

    The practice of maintaining a healthy body weight has been linked to successful fertilization. So feel free to continue doing doctor-approved, low-impact exercises.

    IVF medications are designed to enlarge and stimulate your ovaries in order to produce more mature, healthy eggs. High-impact activity stresses your body and may inhibit this process. For optimal results, get plenty of sleep every night and ask your doctor to recommend ideal sleep positions for pregnant women.

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    Risks associated with exercising during IVF

    As always, it’s important to consider potential risks and to consult a medical professional before beginning a new exercise regimen. 

    Avoid high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and intense cardio routines during an IVF cycle. Generally speaking, you should steer clear of activities that could injure your uterus or abdomen or affect egg production. 

    When to start exercising after an embryo transfer

    Exercising before your IVF treatment increases the likelihood of conception. Once it begins, modify your fitness routine to create the optimal conditions for pregnancy to occur. Further questions or concerns should be directed to your IVF physician or OB-GYN. 

    Unsure if it’s safe to work out during the two-week waiting period? It shouldn’t be an issue, but keep the following things in mind:

    • How physically active were you before the treatment?
    • What type of IVF treatment did you use prior to the embryo transfer?

    While running a marathon isn’t a great idea, you don’t need to confine yourself to 24/7 bed rest, either. In fact, research demonstrates a 40 percent drop in clinical pregnancy rates for women who stay in bed immediately after an embryo transfer.

    Statistics show that infertile women tend to have lower abdominal temperatures than fertile women, most likely due to impaired blood flow in the uterus.

    This is because bed rest reduces blood flow to your pelvis. Statistics show that infertile women tend to have lower abdominal temperatures than fertile women, most likely due to impaired blood flow in the uterus. Miscarriages have even been linked, in part, to this phenomenon. 

    In contrast, regular movement and activities such as walking, standing, and exercising produce muscle contractions and enhance blood flow. Greater blood flow equals better oxygen circulation throughout the body, which promotes healthy cell and tissue growth. That’s why successful implantation depends on your ability to stay active.

    Best exercises during IVF

    Walking is one of the best exercises during IVF

    So which exercises curb IVF weight gain? Low-impact activities like swimming and walking are at the top of the list.

    Aside from burning calories and toning your muscles, swimming is relaxing and easy on your joints. Believe it or not, a 60-minute swim session produces the same results as a 30-minute run.