Exercise and Fertility
If you are having troubles conceiving or are thinking about getting pregnant, it is important to be aware of how exercise can influence your fertility. Though most of us never think about it, exercise is actually a key factor in many cases of infertility.
Exercising too much or too little can really impact your body’s natural fertility, which can prevent you from becoming pregnant. So, if you are currently undergoing fertility treatments or are just thinking about becoming pregnant, consider the impact that exercise may be having on your fertility levels.
Sometimes exercise can be a cause of infertility. Many men and women who exercise too much are actually hurting their chances of conceiving a child.
Women and Over-Exercise
Over-exercise is a major cause of infertility in women. Women who over-exercise are at risk for losing too much body fat. Since body fat helps to produce estrogen, women with too little body fat may not ovulate regularly.
Many women who over-exercise experience oligomenorrhea, which can contribute to fertility difficulties. Some women even develop amenorrhea, and stop getting their periods entirely.
Men and Over-Exercise
Over-exercise can also affect male fertility. Exercising too much can cause the internal temperature of a man’s testicles to rise.
Typically, your testicles remain at a temperature of 96 degrees. If your testicles become warmer than this, sperm begin to die, leading to a low sperm count. Men who over-exercise and become underweight can also experience lower sperm motility and poor sperm morphology.
The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is an integral part of any healthy lifestyle. When exercise is pursued in healthy moderation, it can actually help to increase fertility. Exercising 30 minutes a day, three to four days a week, can help you on your way to pregnancy. When paired with a healthy diet and good self care, exercise can stimulate fertility and may help you conceive.
Exercise and Weight Maintenance
Exercise can really help when it comes to weight maintenance. Being overweight or obese is often associated with fertility problems. In fact, 12% of infertility cases are due to weight issues.
Female Infertility and Obesity
Women who are overweight or obese tend to have more fat in their bodies. This fat can actually increase the amount of estrogen inside your body. Because 30% of our estrogen comes from fat cells, women who have more fat will produce more estrogen.
This can influence ovulation, menstruation, and conception in a negative way. Women who are overweight also tend to be more resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance can force your body to produce excess levels of insulin, which can inhibit ovulation.