Staying Active During IVF

This post is brought to you in partnership with adidas. All opinions, as always, are my own. Always check with your doctor before exercising during IVF.

My new favorite word is comfortable. Let me use it in a sentence for you. I’ve been wearing less foundation for more comfortable skin. I’ve been working from the couch for a more comfortable body. I’ve been wearing sneakers for more comfortable feet. After two years of fertility treatment and six or so months of in vitro fertilization work, nothing about my body is comfortable—so I’m trying to adjust everything else to make up for it.

In my quest for comfort, I stopped exercising. Sure, I was never a daily runner or hardcore yogi, but I was more active before IVF than I am now. Part of this was entirely out of my hands, as there are times during the infertility process where you are not allowed to exercise or do anything above a light walk. (Insert flashbacks to my humongously swollen ovaries during the egg retrieval.) But I’m not there anymore, and up until recently I still wasn’t moving much.

Thanks to the myriad of medication, staying active during IVF is… tricky. Lupron makes you sleepy and depressed. Estradiol makes you feel like you have the flu. Progesterone causes extreme pain at the injection site, massive numbness, and weight gain. Sore, sleepy, sad, and sick? That’s a combination that makes movement very difficult—but, as much as I didn’t want to agree when my husband suggested it, it also makes movement incredibly helpful.

Currently wearing… adidas Samba OG Shoes in Grey, ℅ adidas

The best way for me to ease back into basic exercise when I feel like my body is screaming in a new, broken way? Walking the dogs. Sure, it isn’t necessarily an invigorating workout, but when you’re so swollen you feel like your skin will crack this is a good starting point. (And, spoiler alert, the dogs love it.) A little time in the sun helps with the Lupron bummers, and the leg movement keeps the progesterone soreness from getting too out of hand.

After I started moving around more, I rejoined adult ballet—the kind of class where you can wear leggings, because I’m not about that leotard life anymore—with a friend for some serious stretching and a more active workout. Doing that brought back some (mild) home workouts. I may not be where I once was, but I’m better than I was yesterday and that’s what counts.

Staying active, when possible, helps keep me sane during the IVF process. Even if I can’t fully control my uterine success, hormonal acne, and med-induced weight changes, it feels nice to see the things my body can do and the actions I can control: an extra second balancing in relevé, a deeper stretch in my grand plié, an extra block of walking with the pups. I guess my husband was right all along.

Thank you for sponsoring this post, adidas.

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