Fertility and Exercise
Some studies have been done on the relationship between exercise and fertility; So far, the answers are very mixed. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are very important factors that contribute to improving the quality of life and health of patients, but the level of activity to which you are accustomed must be taken into account, whether or not treatments are being carried out assisted reproduction and objectives and limitations of each patient.
Exercise is always recommended as a way to release stress, but taking into account the physical activity that each person performs. It is not advisable to start a high-impact exercise regimen or make major changes, especially if you are undergoing assisted reproductive treatments due to risks of ovarian torsion during stimulation or abdominal injuries.
Lifestyle factors and habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and weight problems have been shown to be negatively associated with the results of in vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive treatments.
Does Too Much or Too Little Exercise Affect Fertility?
In general, exercise is recommended for most women before trying to conceive and the benefits outweigh the risks. A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health , of more than 17,000 women with no history of infertility, after following up for several years to assess the time it took them to get pregnant, concluded that women who followed five or more factors of low-risk lifestyle (such as eating balanced meals and getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day), had a 69% lower risk of ovulatory disorder infertility. This study suggests that many cases of ovulatory infertility could be prevented with nutrition and exercise.
A systematic review (scientific research that analyzes previous studies) , studied 3683 infertile couples who were undergoing IVF treatments. It found that female physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles was associated with higher rates of pregnancy and babies born, while only a small increase in implantation rate was found and no effect was shown on miscarriage rate. spontaneous.
There are also several studies that show that being overweight and obese can affect fertility and the chances of getting pregnant. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that obesity contributes to infertility and increases the risk of miscarriage and pregnancy complications, all the more reasons to watch your weight and stay active if you want to get pregnant.
So if you're trying to get pregnant, how much exercise should you get? Is there a risk of exercising too much?
Studies are inconclusive about the exact amount of exercise that can negatively affect the chances of pregnancy.
A study published in 2012 and another published in 2016 drew similar conclusions: moderate exercise is beneficial for almost all women trying to conceive. They also concluded that strenuous exercise (defined as more than 5 hours of high-intensity exercise per week) may only be beneficial in women with a high percentage of body fat and may reduce the chances of getting pregnant in normal-weight women.
What is considered strenuous or high intensity exercise?
The answer is completely individual, someone who trains for marathons will have a very different perception of the intensity of the exercise compared to someone who is sedentary. Our recommendation: the most important thing is to make sure that you enjoy the activities that you are doing to be clear that you are going to continue with them regularly.
Based on the Borg Rating for Perceived Exertion , a score of 13-14 is considered moderate intensity. (“Brisk walking or other activities that require moderate exertion, increase your heart rate and breathing, but do not make you breathless.”) Another way to measure exercise intensity is the "talk test." If you can talk during your workout, chances are you're doing a moderate-intensity workout. We insist that everyone is different when it comes to the perceived difficulty of a workout, so we always recommend consulting a doctor or specialist.
As for what are the "best" exercises to get pregnant? In short, there are no conclusive studies documenting the superiority of one exercise over another. Walking, running, yoga, Pilates, cycling, swimming, and strength training are all good options when you're thinking about getting pregnant, if these are considered moderate intensity for you.
Can exercise improve some endocrine conditions like irregular periods or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Women with PCOS and irregular cycles who lose 5-10% of their body weight may see a positive impact on ovulation (as 40-80% of people with PCOS have higher body fat percentages). high, which can also contribute to absent or irregular ovulation).
When does excessive exercise impair fertility?
In this review of several studies that assessed the effect of exercise on ovulation, it showed that women who engaged in vigorous physical activity for more than 60 minutes per day may be at increased risk of ovulatory dysfunction, but that women who engaged in physical activity between 30 and 60 minutes a day had a reduced incidence of anovulation.
The ovulatory dysfunction in women who exercised for more than 60 minutes a day could be due to a greater loss of general energy and a dysregulation of Leptin and Cortisol, two hormones that regulate appetite and the stress response. When these hormones are secreted by the body in larger or smaller amounts, they can negatively affect ovulation and fertility.
Another study also suggested that women who exercise at high intensity have higher rates of anovulatory cycles and shorter luteal phases.
Our recommendation is to maintain your activity level if you are an active person, if you are sedentary start with light, low-impact exercise and if you are a high-performance athlete consult a specialist to ensure that your activity levels are not affecting your fertility.