How to exercise when you’re having progesterone injections

It’s very common to feel a little hesitant to exercise when you’re having progesterone injections. You likely feel concerned about both your chance of pregnancy and the site of the injection hurting when you move.  But keeping up with exercise during fertility treatments is really important as it helps to maintain your overall health (which supports fertility). It’s also essential for your mental health. (Fertility treatments are stressful and without a way to release this stress, it’s pretty normal to start feeling a lil bonkers.)

So let’s talk about progesterone injections and exercise.

I’ve created a yoga class specifically to address the pain created in the upper glute from these injections. Scroll to the bottom of this post if you’d like to practise with me.  Or if you’re brand new to fertility yoga you might like to download my free fertility yoga guide first. 

exercise when you're having progesterone injections

Why are progesterone injections used?

Progesterone is one of the main hormones of pregnancy. It helps your body to prepare for conception. It also nourishes your baby up until the placenta takes over at about 12 weeks. Some women experience a progesterone deficit and fertility doctors will supplement this in order to help you to conceive. Not all specialists will use injections and some will use pessaries instead.  It’s believed that progesterone injections are absorbed faster and more easily than other methods.  

What should you expect when having progesterone injections?

Full disclosure – I personally haven’t used progesterone injections. I was always able to fall pregnant easily. It was holding onto the pregnancy that was my issue. I have worked with many women in yoga therapy sessions who have been having these injections though, and we have been able to use yoga to help reduce some of the pain (and stress) of progesterone injections. While researching this blog post I came across these two beautifully honest accounts of what it’s like to use progesterone injections. I highly recommend reading about Chrissie and Candice’s experiences.

Should you exercise when having progesterone injections?

Fertility specialists recommend that you continue your normal exercise routine during fertility treatments.  Specifically, during progesterone injections it’s believed movement can help to disperse the progesterone more effectively and to reduce overall muscle soreness.

What exercise should you do?

As with all women going through fertility treatments, my recommendation is to keep it gentle. Fertility treatments themselves are stressful. Any exercise you do should aim to reduce stress on the body, not add to it. This is also backed up by studies that have shown high intensity exercise can have negative results during IVF treatments. Walking, yoga and moderate weights (if this is already in your routine) are great choices.  These options let you keep control of the breath so that you can continue to breathe at a steady pace (which is a signal to your body to relax and release stress). 

How can yoga help with progesterone injections?

One of the (many) things I love about yoga is that it can be used as therapy to support specific conditions and treatments.  When I’m working with women going through fertility treatments and using progesterone injections we stretch the hips and glutes as these sites are often sore and achy from the injections. It’s also important to gently move into these areas as well to allow the circulation of body to naturally support the body to heal (and ease the inflammation and pain). 

At the same time we’re also able to address the stress that fertility treatments create through breathwork and mindful movement.  So it’s a win win really!

Try this yoga class for progesterone injections below. It’s suitable for all stages of your cycle and pregnancy as you’ll likely be using the injections from ovulation up until about 12 weeks of pregnancy. If you’d like other classes for the different stages of fertility treatment you can check out my IVF yoga series here.

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