IVF patients at our Memphis fertility center should consider these healthy resolutions
Memphis fertility specialist Dr. Amelia Bailey helps women and couples navigate the route to conception every day. With the coming new year, we talked to Dr. Bailey about what resolutions an IVF patient might make to better their health in body and mind.
What healthy resolutions might you recommend to IVF patients?
Dr. Bailey: The things I recommend are just about being healthier, so they apply for everyone trying to conceive. They’re just more important for patients going through IVF.
How does BMI affect a woman’s chances of IVF success?
Dr. Bailey: When we talk about healthy weight, we talk about a patient’s BMI, or their weight in relation to their height. We need to calculate that to know if a woman is underweight, overweight, on target, or obese.
For some patients, being underweight can be more difficult for fertility than being overweight. If patients have a BMI of 40 or above, which is classified as morbidly obese, we recommend weight loss before attempting to get pregnant. Babies born to mothers in this category have a higher likelihood of being obese or having diabetes. We suggest patients lose weight to get to a BMI of 30 before trying to conceive.
Our Memphis fertility center encourages patients to focus on exercise and diet to maintain a healthy BMI between 19 and 25.
Why should women modify exercises for stimulated ovaries?
Dr. Bailey: I want patients to continue the level of exercise that their body is used to when they started their IVF cycle. If you’re not exercising, then start with 10 minutes a day of walking. Then work up to 30 minutes of walking four days a week.
Once someone starts stimulation medication their ovaries are getting larger, so we don’t recommend any jostling activities. Practice gentle exercises like yoga or Pilates; you’re going to move slowly here. You can work the ovaries, but if you feel any pain in the pelvis, you can immediately back off. A smooth gliding elliptical is safe, too.
Dr. Bailey says that patients who like higher intensity workouts, like CrossFit or P90X, may need to modify them to reduce bouncing. With too much jostling or bouncing, stimulated ovaries can twist, which compromises blood supply to the ovaries. This can cause severe pain to the patient, and may lead to emergency surgery and possibly loss of the ovaries.
If you would like more information about fertility treatment options, or preparing your body for IVF, contact us. Our Memphis fertility center specializes in optimizing outcomes and providing compassionate care for women.