Is exercise good or bad for fertility?
Women in Austin and Round Rock who want to conceive often wonder if exercise can boost fertility. While exercise is beneficial in so many ways for physical, mental, and spiritual health, there is such a thing as too much. Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or are considering IVF or IUI, our holistic fertility team wants to help.
Certain types of exercise can actually boost fertility, especially those that aren’t too exerting such as walking, swimming, yoga, and tai chi. If you have been in the practice of running for some time, it’s safe to continue as long as you keep your routine to about 3-4 miles no more than 4 times per week. Make your goal to increase circulation and oxygenate your blood but not to push yourself as overdoing it can inhibit ovulation.
Vigorous exercise can actually decrease fertility. Routinely doing aerobic exercise, jogging, biking, or weight training at maximum capacity may hinder ovulation due to changes in the female reproductive system’s hormones. Overdoing exercise can result in reduced levels of progesterone, disrupting the menstrual cycle and resulting in infertility.
Exercising while on your period is not recommended but afterward, moderate exercise can actually help reduce stress as endorphins are released that help counter cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress reduction is a great way to boost fertility.
If you don’t exercise regularly, or at all, we recommend starting slowly, finding something that you enjoy doing, and focusing on consistency. For women with PCOS, who often have irregular menstrual cycles, moderate exercise can help increase the frequency of ovulation which boosts the likelihood of conceiving.
Either too little or too much exercise can impact fertility. Try walking or other activities that aren’t too strenuous. If you tend to overdo it and are trying to conceive, back off from vigorous activities a bit. The key is moderation when you are concerned about your fertility!