Can I practice Yoga during my IVF cycle?
Lot of women who come to yoga class ask me this question. The answer is simple. You cannot join a regular yoga class during your IVF cycle. However there are some yoga poses which you can practice. Please remember to take your doctor’s advice as the poses can have different effects for different body types and your medical history.
Before jumping into the poses let’s understand what is a test tube baby and what is IVF cycle.
How are test-tube babies formed? What is meant by IVF?
Test tube baby are the babies who were conceived outside a woman’s body by a scientific procedure known as IVF (In-Vitro fertilisation). This is a procedure in which the fertility expert, Dr Nalini Gupta, collects the eggs from the ovaries of the intended mother and fertilise them with the sperm of the intended father in IVF laboratory.
Your fertility expert will culture these fertilised eggs for 2 to 6 days in a dish which allow these eggs to divide 2 to 4 times inside a test tube. After this, the fertility expert at Select IVF India will transfer back these eggs into the uterus of the intended mother where they will develop normally. This procedure is done to establish a successful pregnancy if natural pregnancy is not possible due to some reason.
What are the steps involved to form test-tube babies?
The following are the steps through which test tube babies formed and these are:
- Ovarian stimulation: Your fertility expert will prescribe some fertility drugs which help in controlling the timing of when the eggs ripen and also increase your chances of producing the multiple eggs during one IVF cycle. The reason to produce multiple eggs is that some of your eggs are not fertilised after egg retrieval. Dr. Nalini Gupta monitors your ovaries using ultrasound and blood test to check the level of hormones.
- Egg Collection: This is a process in which your fertility expert will retrieve the eggs from your ovaries by using a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity under local anaesthesia to reduce your discomfort. After this procedure, there are some women who experience the cramping which may be continue for several weeks following the procedure.
- Sperm preparation: Your partner’s sperm which is obtained by ejaculation will be prepared for combining with the eggs.
- Egg fertilisation: This is an important process in forming the test tube baby where the sperm sample of your partner will be mixed with your eggs. After this, your fertility expert will place the sperm and eggs in the incubator and will monitor them until the healthy embryo developed.
- Embryo Transfer: Once the healthy embryo is formed, the embryologist at Select IVF India will pick the best embryo and transfer that embryo via a small plastic tube into your uterine cavity and will wait for the signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Test: After two weeks of embryo transfer you need to re-visit the clinic where your fertility expert will conduct a pregnancy test and if the results are positive then you will be handed over to local gynaecologist but in case the results are not positive then you will have to repeat the process or opt for other reproductive treatment to conceive a baby.
How much does the test tube baby procedure costs?
This is a little expensive procedure by Indian standard as most of the couples need to undergo for more than one IVF cycle, however, if you compare the cost of test-tube baby with other developed countries then it is still low. Selecct IVF India charges around USD 4,500 for one fresh cycle and embryologists in other developed countries charge between USD 12,000 to USD 15,000 for the same procedure of one fresh IVF cycle.
Yoga Poses during IVF cycle
You can practice the below mentioned poses after consulting your doctor.
Cat and Cow Pose:
Come on your all fours such that your wrists are exactly below your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.
Untuck your toes such that they are pointing away from your body.
Now inhale look up and bring a nice arch on your back. Xhale look down, curl your back like a cat.
Repeat this for 3-5 times. You can do 3 sets of these. You can start increasing the repitions when you practice for few weeks.
Balasan (Baby Pose):
From all fours place your buttocks on your calf muscles like in Vajrasan and stretch your arms forward. If you are not able to do this due to tight hamstrings or calf muscles take help of a pillow or a bolster.
Relax your head and place it on the floor. If you are not able to reach the floor please place a pillow beloe your forehead for support.
Close your eyes , keep breathing and relax. Remember to take deep breaths.
Legs up the wall.
Come close to a wall face the wall and lie down on your back.
Keep your legs folded and come closer to the wall while you arre lying down.
Now slowly take your legs up the wall and push your buttocks close to the wall such that your buttocks are touching the wall.
Keep a pillow under your head for support.
Continue deep breathing, close your eyes and lie in this posture for about 10 minutes.
These three postures are generally considered to be safe regardless of your yoga background. If you want more practice consider taking prenatal yoga classes from a certified yoga teacher.