Nicole Browne, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Kindbody
So, you’re taking charge of your own destiny, and made the decision to freeze your eggs. YGG! When going through IVF, lots of questions arise such as, “what should I (and should I not) eat?” and “how can I remain calm through this craziness?” Something you may or may not be wondering is if physical exercise is something you should be doing, and to what extent. Being healthy before putting your body through IVF, and remaining healthy during the process is at the utmost importance. Thats why we asked Reproductive Endocrinologist at Kindbody, Nicole Browne for her advice!
Want to learn more about your fertility future? Read our Q+A with Kindbody’s Founding Physician, Dr. Fahimeh Sasan. Also, check out Dr. Janelle Luk’s (a top board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologists) advice on what to consider before starting IVF.
I always get asked by patients what can I do or not do while undergoing ovarian stimulation. The short answer is don’t go overboard, especially if you’re only use to going to the gym once in a while. However, mild-to-moderate exercise is acceptable during stimulation. Being at a healthy weight is usually high priority for most women who are trying to conceive. A lower body mass index (BMI) is associated with lower doses of stimulation, and it helps to prevent intrapartum complications such as operative deliveries, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
So, isn’t being active a good thing? More is always better, right? Unfortunately, strenuous activity during stimulation can pose serious health concerns and can even lead to surgical emergencies. A fall or trauma to your abdomen during high impact exercise can result in the loss of an ovary or internal bleeding that may require a blood transfusion. Whatever work-out you chose to do should always be done in moderation. This is key to staying healthy and safe while undergoing stimulation.
I routinely recommend light walking for about 15-20 minutes (without an incline), lifting light hand weights, or light stretches. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to discuss your activities with your doctor while undergoing stimulation to remain safe. Remember, stimulation is finite and you’ll be back to your normal routine in no time.
Dr. Nicole Browne