Physical activity and Female Fertility
Patients are always asking me, “Can I continue to run everyday while undergoing infertility treatment?”
It isn’t unusual for a patient to say, “My Mom thinks that the reason why I’m not getting pregnant is because I exercise too much, is she right?”
This is what we know: Women who exercise most days of the week have been shown to be 3 times more likely to have fertility problems than inactive women. Studies have also shown that women who exercise to the point of exhaustion have 2 times the odds of fertility problems versus women who exercise low intensity.
Now what do we know about exercise and IVF success rates?
Harvard infertility docs have shown that regular exercise before in vitro fertilization may decrease pregnancy chances by 40% and women who exercised for years leading up to their IVF cycle had a much higher chance of experiencing a miscarriage and had a much lower number of eggs retrieved, especially in women who exercise 4 or more hours per week for years before their anticipated IVF.
The take home point is this: if you’re taking the time to do something that is as involved as an infertility treatment cycle – do what you can to decrease your stress without doing vigorous exercise. Replace vigorous exercise with less vigorous activities such as yoga and walking.
Just my thoughts for now.