1. Getting pregnant
  2. Trouble conceiving
  3. Fertility treatments

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Exercise During IVF: Proven Dos and Don’ts

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.

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

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.

Alternatively, walking is another great option for exercising during IVF. Remember to proceed at a normal, steady pace. Though it may not feel like much of a workout, especially if you’re used to high-intensity routines, you should never overdo it. You can walk longer, but not faster.

Engaging in light yoga is also an ideal form of exercise during IVF. Don’t forget to pair your new fitness routine with healthy eating habits to keep your energy levels high and prepare your body for implantation.

Lastly, engaging in light yoga is also an ideal form of exercise during IVF. This restorative activity keeps you fit and toned, without stressing out your body. Be careful to avoid positions that place pressure on your abdomen or strenuous workouts such as power yoga or ashtanga. Ask your yoga instructor to help you modify poses to allow you to participate as much as possible.

Don’t forget to pair your new fitness routine with healthy eating habits to keep your energy levels high and prepare your body for implantation.

Activities to avoid

Eliminate weight lifting that involves kettlebells and other heavy equipment during your IVF treatment. If you choose to continue weight lifting, be sure to use very light weights. 

Though there’s no conclusive evidence that weight lifting negatively impacts the IVF process, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can always pick up right where you left off once your baby is born!

The relationship between IVF and weight gain

Are your clothes feeling a bit more snug than usual? In addition to bloating, which is caused by hormone treatments prescribed to boost your chances of conception, you could experience noticeable weight gain during IVF. 

Note that bloating and weight gain are two entirely different things. Bloating is only temporary and is the result of water retention and other factors.

Everyone’s IVF experience is slightly different. While some put on extra pounds quickly, they tend to lose it again just as fast. For others, it’s a far more gradual process. The amount of weight gained varies as well. Online, people undergoing IVF report gaining 3 to 15 pounds prior to the embryo transfer. 

Note that bloating and weight gain are two entirely different things. Bloating is only temporary and is the result of water retention and other factors. Weight gain, in contrast, lasts longer and might be harder to undo. You can reduce these effects by exercising, eating healthy, and drinking lots of water throughout your IVF cycle.

Overall, IVF is one of the best options for couples facing infertility. Consult your doctor about which types of physical activity will help ensure successful implantation and pregnancy. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5803901/

https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-weight/weight-fertility-and-pregnancy

https://resolve.org/infertility-101/optimizing-my-fertility/boosting-your-fertility-lifestyle-modifications/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982290/

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14647273.2016.1148272

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20113966

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