Can you exercise during IVF and fertility treatment? Is it safe? With the World Athletics Championships in London in the spotlight, there’s never been a better time to get fit – and the good news is that having IVF doesn’t mean you have to hang up your sport shoes.
Exercising and fitness: Preparing for fertility treatment and IVF
Exercising is a good way to prepare for your IVF journey, especially if you need to lose weight and get your BMI to a healthier range before you start treatment. Obesity can cause fertility issues in both men and women, so a healthy diet combined with exercise – even just walking more - will not only help to reduce BMI but increase your chances of pregnancy.
It’s also a great stress reducer, which is of huge benefit if you’re anxious or worried about starting your fertility treatment.
Which type of exercise is best during IVF?
Exercise is great for relaxation, stress relief, good sleep and self-confidence – all the things you need to help you through your IVF journey.
But as your body is very busy preparing for pregnancy, it’s wise to tone-back any usual rigorous exercise routines and opt for more gentle ways to keep fit once you start treatment.
That way, you still continue to be active and get all the feel good benefits of exercise physically and mentally. Good exercise options to try during IVF include yoga and gentle stretching, swimming, or low-impact workouts.
There’s no need to stop exercising altogether if you’re usually a very active person. Many couples find IVF and fertility treatment to be all-consuming, so it’s important to try and maintain a sense of normality and routine.
Exercise post-embryo transfer and the ‘two week wait’
We’re often asked if it’s ok to exercise after embryo transfer, or during the ‘two week wait’ before you take your pregnancy test
Heavy exercise should be avoided after embryo transfer. You don’t need to avoid all physical activity – remember that treatment outcome won’t be affected by something you do or don’t do.
Post embryo transfer and the two-week wait can be a very stressful time as you await treatment outcome, gentle exercise may help you cope and relax.
Listen to your body
You may find that you don’t feel up to your usual exercise activities, because of all the processes and procedures involved in IVF, which may include fertility medications, and how it all makes you feel. So don’t feel you have to force yourself to exercise just because it’s your normal routine.
Exercise and IVF: Help and advice
If you need help and advice on safe exercising before, during or after IVF, speak to our friendly Patient Advisors or our Fertility Support Midwife for specific advice during the two-week wait and early pregnancy on 0845 268 2244.
Last updated: 10th August 2017