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.
The best thing to do if you're wondering whether you can exercise after an intrauterine insemination is to ask your doctor.
Boost Your Chances of Conception
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.
Exercise After an IUI
According to the National Infertility Association, it is advisable to avoid vigorous exercise after an IUI because exercise can raise your heart rate and body temperature excessively. Pregnant women are advised to keep their inner core body temperature below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, or risk birth defects to the baby. When walking after an IUI, make it more of a stroll than power walk.
A September 2015 study of 87 women by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine investigated the association between women who underwent the IUI procedure and their exercise habits. The conclusion was reached that there needs to be more research conducted in this area. The only interesting thing to note, and while it may be a coincidence, none of the women who exercised strenuously after the IUI became pregnant.
Moderate-Intensity to Gentle Exercises
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.
Tommy's, a site dedicated to the topic of fertility and infertility, suggests many reasons for infertility and one of those is having a low BMI due to vigorous exercise. Although they don't touch on the subject of an IUI and exercise, they do recommend cutting back to a moderate level of exercise while undergoing IVF treatment.
Yoga is considered beneficial for women trying to conceive, according to the Art of Living, although the poses themselves will not increase your fertility; rather, the meditation portion calms your mind and helps you focus.
Watch for Warning Signs
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.
- National Infertility Association: "Surviving the Two Week Wait"
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "The Association Between Exercise and Pregnancy Rates in Patients Undergoing Intrauterine Insemination for Infertility: A Pilot Study"
- Tommy's.org: "The Benefits of Exercising/Being Active When Trying to Conceive"
- Art of Living: "Boost Fertility with Yoga"