Cultivating a Successful IVF Cycle. Part 1: Yoga & Walking.

The days draw closer to my finally beginning my IVF cycle. It’s been a long road to get here. I am nothing but excited, hopeful, and happy to begin. It’s hard to believe that IVF is really about to be part of my life. I read back on a journal I started over a year ago, already a year into “TTC”. I was heartbroken then, struggling daily dealing with the hope & let downs, the ebb and flow of months and months going by.  I’m not supposed to be infertile. I’m “young”, healthy, I do everything thing “right”, women in my family get pregnant by thinking about babies. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I guess after swallowing it every day for years it gets easier? It feels easier to me, I feel like I have more hope and have an actual chance because of advanced reproductive technologies. Of course IVF really isn’t that successful of a procedure if you really think about it. Less than 50% chance of a live birth. But 50% chance is a hell of a lot higher than my current chances of seemingly 0%.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer, this post is not intended professional or medical advice. Links contained are affiliated if purchased may provide me with a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I am choosing to focus on my overall well-being throughout the cycle. From what I’ve heard IVF is a grueling marathon of drugs and appointments. I want to welcome the challenges and take them day-by-day to prevent getting overwhelmed. I believe that positive thinking and self-care will make a more hospitable environment for conception.

Exercise – I am planning on toning down my exercise as needed the cycle progresses, including yoga and walking. I do not plan on giving up exercise unless directly recommended by the doctor.  I’m assuming once you give in to the side effect &/or tiredness its a really hard cycle to break. Blood flow is important and exercise is a major way to influence this. Continuing to stay active will increase your natural energy.

Why Yoga & Walking?

If you search for fertility boosting exercise it’s always yoga and walking listed. I think it’s because they are easy to tailor to your current health level, almost anyone can do them, plus they are multi-leveled you can make it as challenging or easy as you need.  They are also easily accessible and inexpensive.

Yoga is known for its relaxing and focusing properties. It’s a moving meditation. When I choose a yoga class to follow, I focus on hip opening, core work and pelvic floor. This to me is like training for child-birth. Our pelvic floor and core are going to need to be strong for my end goal (live birth!) So I focus on this now, which gives me a sense of purpose to each class, I am building and opening my body to welcome life. And also trying to prevent sneeze-peeing lol.

 

    • I do yoga at home with a membership to “the yoga collective” there are other online yoga programs but I don’t have any experience with them. I love using the yoga collective because local yoga studios are expensive ($50+/mo), and the classes usually are at inconvenient times/locations. I got my membership to the yoga collective off Groupon with an additional 20% off, I paid like $11 for the whole year. I now  I do yoga a lot more often now then when I was paying $50/mo!
    • You don’t even need an online membership, you can do self-directed yoga, learning poses through free websites or books and creating your own practice. I was never really good at this, I prefer when the instructor tells me what and when to do and guides the breath.
    • My yoga goal is three one hour classes per week, and daily AM stretching.Walking is my second go to exercise. I walk for about 20-40 minutes on my lunch breaks during the work week, I incorporate some hills. When I first started walking on my lunch breaks I would only do 10 minutes, the thought of giving up my 1 hour of relaxation during the work day was dreadful. But it turns out I enjoyed it, I felt more relaxed, and more energized for the rest of the day. I try to eat as quick as possible so I can get the most walking timeOn my days off I like to take my dogs for hikes weather permitting. They are amped up all the time, they love hikes and run up and down the trails chasing each other, it’s truly amazing their endless energy. Since our state is very strict leash laws and over populated I have to choose times when no one else is around. Being in nature is also soothing and mind clearing, it offers more diverse terrain than street/track walking. It is a bit of a hassle driving with them, also they get so dirty! Since the nice weather is finally here, my goal for this month is to take the dogs for a long hike at least 1 x per week, and easier walks in the woods 1 – 2 x per week.
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