Many women undergoing an intrauterine insemination, or IUI, wonder whether exercising after the procedure could affect their ability to conceive. The answer is not straightforward. While there is no definitive evidence that exercise will hinder conception, many medical professionals prefer to err on the side of caution and recommend against performing high-impact or strenuous exercise for a few days after the procedure. However, other doctors see little to no risk in exercising after an IUI. Given the range of opinions on the topic, it is essential that you discuss safe workout routines with your doctor before exercising after an IUI.
An IUI is a fertility procedure in which sperm is injected directly into the uterus via a catheter. The purpose of this procedure is to boost the chances of conception by shortening the distance the sperm has to travel to fertilize the waiting egg. IUI may be used if you and your partner have failed to conceive after a year of trying, if your partner has a low sperm count or poor sperm motility, or if you are using donor sperm to get pregnant. According to BabyCenter, the success rate ranges from 5 to 20 percent.
According to Pregnancy.org, it is advisable to avoid exercise after an IUI because exercise can raise your inner core temperature to dangerous levels. Pregnant women are advised to keep their inner core body temperature below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, or risk birth defects to the baby. However, many doctors advise avoiding exercise after an IUI because they don’t want their patients to blame themselves if they fail to conceive. Fertility doctors Aniruddha and Anjali Malpani, authors of the book “How to Have a Baby: Overcoming Infertility,” recommend that women take the “path of least regret”: If you believe you might blame yourself for failing to get pregnant because you exercised after fertility treatment, then you should avoid exercise.
If you want to exercise after your IUI but still have concerns that it might disrupt conception or implantation, try some gentle forms of exercise that do not involve bouncing or jumping. The American Pregnancy Association recommends low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking or yoga. Yoga is considered particularly beneficial for women trying to conceive. According to PregnancyToday.com, some evidence exists that yoga can boost your chances of conception.
If you chose to exercise after your IUI, stay alert for any bleeding, excessive cramping or dizziness. Upon experiencing these symptoms, stop exercising immediately and relax. If nothing else, being cautious can offer you peace of mind.