Let’s Get Physical: Exercising During a Round

WHO THIS POST IS FOR:

  • Infertile workout fiends

WARNIG: I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on tv (cue eye roll). The advice I am providing is from my own experience. You must listen to your body and do what is right for your treatment.  Of course consult your doctor before participating in any of the exercises, if they give you the go-ahead, indulge and enjoy!

TO EXERCISE OR NOT TO EXERCISE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Prior to starting infertility treatments I worked out 5-7 days a week, walked all of the time, and during summer biked to most locations. In short, I like love need to move. Ive got ants in my pants and working out keeps me calm. Once I started treatment working out became a challenge. It became tough to keep up because:

  • The meds made me tired. Lots of hormones means changes in how you function. I began to love naps… (I am super productive and don’t have time for naps when not on drugs) this was alarming.
  • It can be unsafe for me to workout prior to a retrieval because I overstimulate. Because of this, I run the risk of Ovarian Torsion (a twisted ovary) which can be caused by twisting during exercise.
  • After transfers you are told to “take it easy.” This is incredibly vague and proved quite challenging for me because what easy is for some was not easy for me. In fact laying around stresses me out, moving makes me feel GOOD. But that little voice in my head said “If you workout then may mess with your transfer and ruin it,” and so I stayed away.

Figuring out a balance took time. Despite the surgeries, etc. I stayed consistent in my routine (within reason of course) and was able to jump back into high intensity training during my break. This time around I was less combative towards taking it “easier” with my workouts because I now know that the weight gain is temporary and ensuring that my body isn’t expending too much energy is important.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

My doctor, acupuncturist, husband and therapist (The Dream Team) have all reminded me that its okay to listen to my body. While in my drug induced haze of 2015, whenever I heard this I wanted to scream. I felt like listening to my body (which meant not working out) was another way I was failing or loosing control. Now that I have had some time to clear my head and have resolved to show myself more compassion, I realize there is a whole lot of truth in this.  The fact is, if you are tired don’t go to the gym. You are tired because your body is working over time. Leading up to a retrieval my body was working like crazy to produce follicles. Think about it, once a month your body gets funky just producing ONE follicle to ovulate. Now multiply that by 48 (ohhhh ya I got there once!) and you have a recipe for exhaustion.

\** In the coming weeks workout combinations using weights/yoga will be available!

LOW IMPACT OPTIONS

Swimming: I know I know, a bathing suit is the last thing you want to slip on when you feel huge but GIIIIRL, you dont look like a beached whale, I swear. You may feel like it but you look great! If anything, while swimming the bloat and heaviness floats away while you wade through the water. TIP: Buy two suits. Buy one for your “normal” size and one with extra room for those tough days. Swim Outlet has suits for great prices.

Bar Classes: Check out your gym’s ballet bar, Purre Bar, type classes. Self Magazine has a series of moves if you cant hit up a class. If you’ve never been to one of these classes don’t fret! You do not need dance experience. You will go through a series of low impact small movements. When repeated over and over and over again you feel the burn!

Walking (not running): You can walk all ya want! After a retrieval walking may be tough (especially if you are over stimulated). Stroll with your partner and enjoy the fresh air.

Yoga: Yoga can be okay in some circumstances. Prior to a retrieval its important to stay away from twists. I will post an entire series of safe poses soon, stay tuned!

Oh ya, forgot to mention I have a broken big toe and have been in a cast for 4 months. Super BUMMER but its made me have to accept the IVF exercises.

IMG_1383
Adjusting to the new normal takes a lot of acceptance.
REMEMBER

The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you feel up for exercising and your doctor say its cool, enjoy these low impact exercises and get your sweat on!

-Annie

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