Can Exercise Affect My Fertility?

Mar 06, 2023
Can Exercise Affect My Fertility?
Exercise has many benefits, so it may not surprise you that it can help with fertility. But it’s not all good news — you still need to follow some basic guidelines, which we outline in this post.

When you’re having trouble conceiving, you may feel like you’re all alone. However, infertility affects about 20% of American women aged 49 and younger. 

Yet, despite the saying that “misery loves company,” most people take little comfort in knowing their problem is common. Instead, couples want to find solutions to help them successfully conceive.

At OB/GYN Associates of ConroeRichard Roberts, MD, helps women and couples in Conroe, Texas, overcome fertility issues with infertility treatments incorporating both medical interventions and lifestyle changes. In this post, he explores the benefits and potential problems associated with regular exercise when you’re trying to conceive.

Exercise and fertility

Lots of factors have an impact on fertility, including your weight, stress level, and hormonal activity. The good news: Exercise can have a positive impact on all these variables. 

Regular exercise helps you lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. In general, losing extra weight offers multiple benefits for your general health, and optimizing your overall wellness is important for helping you conceive.

But being overweight or obese also has an impact on your hormones, including the hormones that control ovulation and affect fertility in other ways. Taking steps to maintain a healthy weight helps balance your hormones, giving you an advantage when you’re trying to get pregnant.

Stress also interferes with hormones involved in conception. Regular exercise helps your body reduce stress and its biological impact on your body.

Balancing act

While regular exercise may help improve fertility in some ways, research shows that too much exercise could have the opposite effect. In this case, “too much” refers to extreme or intense exercise routines, like running several miles every day. 

In fact, some recent research found that while moderate exercise of 30-60 minutes per day may help with infertility in some women, intense exercise of more than an hour per day may have a negative effect on being able to conceive. 

Women aren’t the only ones affected, either. Data show that too much intense physical activity can interfere with a man’s fertility as well. 

Capturing the benefits of exercise

If you’re trying to conceive, be sure to talk to Dr. Roberts before beginning any new exercise routine, even if you already lead a relatively active life. Dr. Roberts can help identify exercises that suit your lifestyle while also optimizing your health to improve your chances of conceiving. In general, regular walking, swimming, or similar low-impact activities are good options for most women.

Next, remember to set limits on exercise. You’re not training for a marathon — instead, you’re using exercise as a tool to optimize your health and set the stage for conception and pregnancy. Dr. Roberts can help you set healthy goals and limits.

If you’re not exercising regularly now, start slowly and increase your activity level slowly, too. Try to find a routine that includes stretching and weight training in addition to aerobic activities, like walking. Again, ask before adding a new activity to your routine.

Finally, remember that exercise is just one way to improve your overall wellness and chances of getting pregnant. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and take steps to limit stress in your life. Meditation, mindfulness exercises, and yoga can help.

Learn more about infertility treatment

Bottom line: While regular exercise may offer benefits for fertility, moderation is the key. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Roberts to make sure you get the benefits of your exercise routine while avoiding potential problems.

To learn more about lifestyle changes and fertility treatments that can help you conceive, call 936-757-7788 or book an appointment online with the team at OB/GYN Associates of Conroe today.