Preparation is key when trying to get pregnant – Part two

18th October in Blog, Exercise, Lifestyle, Uncategorised

In the first article on the importance of why preparation is key when trying to get pregnant, we wrote about detoxifying the body and the importance of good nutrition. In the second part of this article, we will look at the effect that exercise can have on your fertility.

Exercise and fertility – it’s all about balance!

Getting a healthy amount of exercise can help lower stress and lead to a healthier body. Exercise is important in relation to fertility as it helps to balance blood sugar levels and regulate hormones which in turn affects ovulation. Exercise can also help with toning and weight loss. So, if you need to lose weight, that’s just one more added reason to put on those walking shoes. Ideally, we should be exercising for at least 40 minutes a few times a week.

The relationship between exercise and fertility is not straightforward, but it is well documented that the fertility of top female athletes can be affected by strenuous exercise. This can be explained by the fact that this group of athletes often have a lower BMI which can affect ovulation.

In a study conducted by Morris et al in 2006 into the effect of exercise on IVF success in the United States, it was discovered that women who regularly strenuously exercise prior to IVF may negatively affect their chance of success. It found that those women who exercised for between one and nine years before beginning the IVF process for four hours or more per week had the least success with fertility treatment. They were also twice as likely to experience implantation failure or pregnancy loss and three times more likely to have a treatment cycle cancelled.

It seems from the research to date, that it’s the type of exercise undertaken that can have an impact on IVF success, with only walking having no effect, through to strenuous exercise having a marked negative impact on success. The women in this  particular study who said they participated in more strenuous exercise (for example, aerobics, running, or boot camp) had a 30 percent lower chance of a successful live birth after IVF.

Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking a few times a week, is thought to help those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) for a number of reasons, including: lowering of cholesterol levels, improved insulin sensitivity and improved body composition. Women with PCOS often find it difficult to manage their weight, therefore exercise additionally helps by regulating blood sugar levels and insulin. This in turn lowers the level of testosterone in the blood and so improves menstrual regularity and ovulation.

If you are ever in doubt, always check with your G.P. or fertility professional as to whether the exercise that you love to or plan to pursue is appropriate, as each person and scenario are different.


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