Fertility and exercise when trying to conceive.
Exercise can have a significant impact on fertility in both men and women. Regular physical activity is generally associated with improved overall health, which can positively influence reproductive function. However, it's important to strike a balance, as excessive exercise or intense training can have adverse effects on fertility.
Here are some key points to consider regarding exercise and fertility:
Regular exercise is generally beneficial for women's reproductive health. It can help regulate menstrual cycles, maintain a healthy body weight, and reduce the risk of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can affect fertility.
However, excessive exercise, especially when combined with low body fat levels, can disrupt hormone production and lead to irregular or absent periods, known as exercise-induced amenorrhea. This can affect ovulation and reduce fertility.
Regular exercise can improve men's reproductive health by boosting testosterone levels, enhancing sperm quality, and promoting better blood circulation, which is essential for healthy sperm production.
On the other hand, excessive exercise or intense training can increase scrotal temperature, which may negatively impact sperm production. It's important to avoid prolonged exposure to high-temperature environments, such as saunas or hot tubs, as they can also affect sperm quality.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise is crucial for fertility in both men and women. Being overweight or underweight can disrupt hormonal balance and affect reproductive function.
For overweight individuals, losing excess weight can improve fertility by restoring hormonal balance and enhancing ovulation in women. In men, weight loss can help improve sperm quality.
However, extreme weight loss or excessive exercise can lead to low body weight, which may disrupt hormonal function and decrease fertility.
Timing and intensity:
The timing and intensity of exercise can also play a role in fertility. Intense exercise, such as endurance training or heavy weightlifting, can temporarily suppress reproductive hormone production and disrupt menstrual cycles in women.
It's generally recommended to engage in moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, for about 150 minutes per week. This level of physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits without negatively impacting fertility.
Regular exercise is known to reduce stress levels, which can indirectly benefit fertility. High levels of stress can affect hormone production and disrupt reproductive function in both men and women.
Engaging in activities like yoga, meditation, or mindfulness alongside regular exercise can further enhance stress reduction and overall well-being, potentially improving fertility outcomes.
It's important to note that fertility is a complex topic influenced by various factors, and exercise alone may not guarantee conception. If you're concerned about your fertility or planning to conceive, do book in for a free consultation here.