For couples that are having difficulty conceiving, In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) can facilitate the life-changing dream of having a baby. But you know what they say: if you want the rainbow, you have to deal with some rain.

Unfortunately, fatigue is something that often comes as part and parcel of IVF treatment. Thankfully it’s temporary, and there are ways to help you deal with it. Read on to find out how to deal with IVF fatigue.

Why Is Fatigue So Common In IVF?

Hormonal changes

If you’re experiencing extra tiredness during IVF treatment, it’s most likely due to a shift in hormone levels.
IVF treatment involves taking a number of fertility drugs which will elevate certain hormone levels to get your body ready for pregnancy. These drugs will help to regulate your monthly cycle, stimulating ovulation to help you develop and release viable eggs to be retrieved. Then, these retrieved eggs are fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. Successfully fertilised eggs are then placed into a woman’s womb to grow and develop.

Chief among the fatigue-factor is the hormone progesterone. Now, progesterone levels always rise naturally in pregnancy anyway, because a woman’s body needs this hormone to make and maintain a robust embryo lining. When this happens, pregnant women may experience fatigue. Unfortunately, women undergoing IVF often have to experience some of this fatigue prior to pregnancy as well, because fertility treatment involves raising a woman’s progesterone levels in preparation for pregnancy.


Dr Gorgy, Fertility Consultant at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy says: “While hormonal changes are the most obvious reason for tiredness when undergoing IVF, there’s every chance stress may play a part as well. Women who opt for IVF have usually been battling fertility problems for a year or more. The ups and downs of several attempts at pregnancy can be very draining, physically and mentally. So if you’re already feeling wrung out by the time you begin IVF, you’re not alone, it is quite common.”

What Can I Do To Manage IVF Fatigue?

Yes, the tiredness is frustrating, but many women having IVF are able to keep up with their routine much of the time. It’s important to practise self-care though, to make any necessary tweaks and ask for help if you need to. You deserve to look after yourself! Here are some things that could help:

Get to bed a little earlier: Yes it’s frustrating, but do you need to watch that extra Netflix episode? Try getting into bed an hour earlier if you can – your body will thank you for it.

Practise good sleep hygiene: Try to practise good sleep hygiene by not having screen time right before bed, or having screens on as you drift off to sleep. These screens give off a blue night that is disruptive to sleep. Remember it’s not just the quantity of sleep you’re getting that matters, but the quality too.

It’s okay to nap: If possible, try having a power nap in the afternoon. There’s every chance it’ll give you the boost you need to get through the rest of the working day.

Schedule different tasks according to your energy cycle: Figure out when you tend to be most tired and plan accordingly. For example, if your fatigue is worse in the afternoon, schedule your least taxing tasks for that time. Talk to your line manager and try to schedule presentations for the morning, when your energy might be more revved up.

Water water water: Staying hydrated helps to fend off fatigue.

Eat well: Too many starchy carbs and sugars can serve up an energy crash. Plenty of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and proteins – that’s the order of the day.

Ask for help: It might be a force of habit to try to be superwoman, but do you really have to be the one to plan your sister-in-law’s birthday party or do the dishes every night? Are you taking on too much? If so, you might want to make a list of tasks, chores, and errands, and talk to your partner or loved ones about ways to spread the load.

Do some light exercise: It sounds counter-intuitive when we’re talking about tiredness, but staying fairly active can help keep fatigue at bay. For example you might enjoy a gentle walk or consider taking a yoga for fertility class.

Pamper yourself: Thankfully, there are a thousand great resources available to help you unwind. Get a massage or enjoy a spa day with your friends. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

Meditate and/or try acupuncture: Some women have found acupuncture helpful for stress and fatigue. And just five or ten minutes of meditation a day might help you feel calmer and that little bit more energised.

Keep your eyes on the prize: It may seem endless at times, but this feeling won’t last forever. At times when it feels like you’re trudging through treacle, it can be helpful to keep an ‘eyes on the prize’ mindset, and remind yourself that this will pass.

Here at the Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, we’ve helped countless men and women achieve their dream of a baby. Our success rates are among the best in the field, and we also specialise in complex cases and couples whose previous attempts have been unsuccessful.

To book a consultation with one of our expert team, call 020 7224 1880 or email