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IVF and the gym

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IVF and the gym

Postby IVFSwitzerland » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:49 am


Im about to start my first IVF treatment and cannot really find anything meaningful on the internet about whether or not I should go to the gym. My dr. says "carry on as normal" but dont do anything too strenuous but does this mean I can carry on doing normal gym routines such as tread mill walking and the cross trainer + light weights or should I cut it all out? Im inclined to get a medical cert. from him to postpone my gym membership indefintinitly.... any advice would be welcome...thanks..
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Postby PebblesUK » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:54 am


The only thing I was told was during the 2ww you should avoid any strenuous exercise, some people are even told bed rest during this time. I personally would avoid the gym then. Even swimming is a no no then because of risk of infection.

Sorry can't help you any more than that.

Good luck with your treatment


Me 35 DH 37 1st IVF ET 27 June - BFP!!!!
Ellie was born on 11 December 2006, 14 weeks early!

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Gym after IVF

Postby suzhan » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:35 pm

This is a question I've wanted to know the answer to also.

My doctor had me on complete horizontal bed rest for 3 days after ET and then 'no exercise or lifting > 10 lbs of weight' after that.

My first IVF cycle was the same and I followed it and got pregnant (eventually had m/c unrelated to exercise, though, was chromosome problem).

I did do gentle walking but that was it. However, I gained a ton of weight and felt awful, so this time I was hoping to do a bit more (wanted to try the eliptical trainer, since it has no bouncing.)

Other places I've read to keep your heart rate below 120.

Wish I knew more....
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Postby DolceVita » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:46 pm

Hi Ladies,

I hope my tiny bit of advice can help.

I was told to be on bed rest the first three days but after that i was still told not to excersice at all just to take it easy till your bloodtest.
Its really not worth taking the chance, its only 2 ww and its so much more important to get a bfp then the excercise... thats my opinion i hope i have helped you ladies.
With Gods Blessings BFP!

babies born January 13, 2007 g~b~b

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Postby angieleto » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:06 pm

I know it's had not to exercise! I usually go to the gym 3 or 4 times per week. My doc told me to avoid the gym once I started my stimulation injections. No bouncing and lifiting over 10 pounds. After my ET he required 72 hours of bed rest and then no exercising until after the beta test.

I haven't worked out since July 28 and it's been really difficult. My beta is scheulded for Aug. 24 so hopfully this lounging around will all be worth it!

Good luck and just relax, the gym will always be there!

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Postby Macca8 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:26 pm


I was going to gym 3 times a week before IVF and I was told by my consultant that normal walking is acceptable either on terrain or treadmill but you must not walk on incline or run. The energy required to do this will take the blood flow away from the uterus (where it's desperately required) and will head to your muscles to aid training. Weights (not allowed at all) and swimming is not allowed until 3 weeks after ET.

Hope this helps.

Lisa X
Me 37, DH 51
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gym and IVF

Postby IVFSwitzerland » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:52 pm

Hi ladies
all the gym advice is really helpful but does anyone know anything about right at the start of the IVF treatment as no one seems to comment on this - people only comment on the 2 ww - what ever that is. I want to know if I can go when I start the treatment but I think Im going to just give it up for the whole treatment. Also, can anyone tell me how long the whole IVF treatment normally takes as Ive heard 4 weeks and I have heard 8 weeks - I have my first main IVF appointment next week but am impatient to know more now! thanks IVF Switzerland
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Exercise during IVF

Postby suzhan » Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:15 pm

Hi IVFSwitzerland -

Sorry for not understanding your question - let me try again.

I exercised regularly (45-60 minutes on treadmill running and/or eliptical trainer, 3-4 days per week + light weights) all the way up to the beginning of the shots you take to stimulate your ovaries to make follicles.

After starting the stimulation protocol, I still worked out but stopped any running (you don't want to run after you start making follicles because your ovaries may swell and any major bouncing could cause torsion - rare but dangerous I'm told). I kept on the eliptical because it has no bouncing or jarring motion throughout the stimulation protocol, but always kept my heart rate low (below 130 beats/minute). I just turned 38 and this seemed to work fine for me. I stopped all weights as well.

The "2 ww" is short for "2 week wait" and is the approximate time between either egg retrieval (ER) or embryo transfer (ET) - depending on your clinic's guidelines - that you wait to get your pregnancy results.

For me, the IVF cycle from start to ET was over 6 weeks. This included 3 weeks on birth control pills, 1 week lupron (actually, 10 days because your start the lupron while still on BCPs), then 8-9 days of stimulation hormones. Then, you take the HCG shot (which basically makes the eggs in the follicles on your ovaries mature), wait another 36 hours, and get the egg retrieval. Then, you wait 3-5 days while they fertilize your eggs and then you have your embryo transfer. Then, you begin the 'wait' for your pregnancy test. For me, the wait from the embryo transfer to the final pregnancy test is 10 days.

Hope that helps!

- suzhan
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Postby suzannes » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:26 am

Hi all,

I went to the gym daily, even had a personal training session the day before my EPU. My Doc was happy for me to continue as usual as long as I was comfortable to do so.

On Doc's intructions, I rested completely for the 2ww.

Our cycle resulted in a BFP, but I also had a miscarriage at 5 weeks. I hadn't gone back to the gym at this stage. As I had spotting during my 2ww, he told me to keep taking it easy for a while, unfortunately I had a m/c anyway.

As for everything with IVF though, be guided by your Doc - all of our regimes are different, and we all have different reasons for our IF, so will need different protocols.

Be guided by the expert so that if (unfortunately) you get a BFN you're not torturing yourself with what if's - just my 2 cents worth.

Good luck with your cycle.
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Postby IVFSwitzerland » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:57 pm

thanks thats all really helpful - Im sure I will feel more informed as well once I have my appointment next week with the dr - I have already started the birth control pills so I guess it will be about 5 weeks from now until D day then!
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Postby Kabillion » Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:50 pm

Mr Dr. says if lifting or stretching would end a pregnancy then abortion clinics would go out of business. I think you should live your life as you usually do except of course cut out drinking alcohol.
1st IVF July 2006 BFP!!!!
Twin Boys : )

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Postby myhb » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:34 pm

Hi Ladies -

I was told that I could run (I run about 25 miles a week) up until the point where I would start stimulating my ovaries. Once I begin the stimulation shots, I have to stop running. The nurses told me to get the running out of my system by then which is easier said than done :).

I haven't asked about strength training since I haven't been doing any lately. I think if once I stop running and I start going stir crazy from lack of exercise, I'll ask about what I can/cannot do regarding exercise.

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Postby Lola » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:43 am

I usually run 4 miles a day - 5 days a week. I LOVE running!!! I tried to take it easy up until the stimulation and now I just walk every day for an hour while on stimulation shots. I miss my running, but I don't want to take any chances... :wink: Lola
Me 32 DH 42
severe male factor
#1 IVF-Aug. 06-cancelled cycle
#2 IVF-Microflare protocol - Oct 06, 11/11 - BFP, 11/28 - twins! 1/20 - BOY & GIRL!

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Postby tintintti » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:13 am

My doctor has told me that excercise has no effect to the pregnancy success rate, but it has effect on ovaries. At least mine got so swollen that it was sometimes difficult to sit in the car, never mind excercising. If ovaries are swollen, they tend to get hurt easily and do not return normal so fast if they cannot be rested.

For me not doing excercise has been also difficult. However, I have more experienced weight loss rather than gain. I seem to loose all my appetite as soon as I began hormone stimulation treatment. First time I lost about 5-6 kilos, now I have lost about 3 kilos. Not very good as am now malnourished and underweight.
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