In my last post, I discussed a serious condition called twisted ovary, also known as ovarian torsion, which can occur after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This condition occurs when an ovary twists off its blood supply. Ovarian torsion can cause a lot of pain and requires prompt medical treatment.
Ovarian torsion is currently one of the most serious IVF complications. Thankfully, fertility doctors have found ways to prevent another IVF complication, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), through Lupron triggers.
The first patient I ever saw with ovarian torsion had been kickboxing after her egg retrieval. The second patient I saw with twisted ovary was one who had pushed a large trash can at a hospital with a huge thrust. So clearly, your exercise routine and activity level can influence the likelihood of developing ovarian torsion.
If you are undergoing fertility treatment, I recommend the following to reduce the likelihood of developing ovarian torsion:
- Do not kick box or push heavy things.
- Be careful even with seemingly simple movements. Bending over at the waist or upside down yoga could possibly cause torsion.
- Following IVF, rest at home without doing any bouncing, jostling exercise until your ovaries have shrunk back down to size. This may take two weeks after the egg retrieval.
As for safe activities to try, walking is a great activity without too much risk.
As far as IVF complications go, ovarian torsion is the most severe complication that can come following gonadotropin stimulation and the IVF process. To be safe, always pay attention to your doctor’s recommendations about lifestyle and exercise following IVF.
Dr. Mary Hinckley is a leading reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has extensively published articles in peer-reviewed journals on blastocyst transfer, avoiding triplet pregnancies, monozygotic twinning, operative hysteroscopy, correction of uterine anomalies, and biochemical pathways involved in ovulation and fertilization. She serves as a member of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Society and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Her areas of interest include laparoscopic surgery, premature ovarian failure, oocyte freezing, and recurrent pregnancy loss. Dr. Hinckley offers infertility education on YouTube.