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Being too fit can hurt chances of getting pregnant?

28 March 2015, 10:02 Ann Mwirikia

Nairobi - Exercise is a great thing for anyone trying to get pregnant. The problems arise when you take it to the extreme. Too Much Exercise can haunt your fertility when you overdo it. Exercise itself doesn’t cause infertility, it’s often a combination of genetics like not getting enough calories and being significantly underweight that causes women to experience ovulation problems. Most of the problems caused by over exercising are low body fat and getting infrequent periods or they lose them altogether.

There may be a connection between vigorous exercise at increasing levels and the length of time it takes to become pregnant, most infertility cases are due being underweight. Women who engage in too much regular vigorous activity like cycling, fast running and marathon can end up with so little body fat that they develop an estrogen deficiency and begin to miss periods, or even stop having periods altogether. Being underweight or losing a lot of weight quickly can also cause a decreased level of hormonal imbalance responsible for the development of eggs in the ovaries and interfere with conception by inhibiting ovulation or interfering with egg since about 30% of the estrogen in a woman's body is produced from fat cells. For obese women or those who are significantly overweight they do not experience the same delays if they participate in regular vigorous activity.

Female athletes are more likely to have ovulation and menstruation disorders that can thwart conception. A lot of them take to the extremes of starving themselves. Research has it that about 12% of those infertile women are athletes, and the problem is becoming more acute now that more women are testing the limits of their body and their biological clock. Healthy women who push their bodies just far enough that they disrupt their delicate hormonal balance and their brain stops sending a signal to the ovaries to send down an egg to fertilize risk their fertility. High stress levels can actually inhibit ovulation and cause an irregular menstruation pattern, which can delay conception.  If you really want to get pregnant, you’ve got to cut back on exercise. Most athletes have no problems getting pregnant. But just as you prepare your body for baby-making by taking folic acid and cutting back on drinking, keeping a moderate exercise schedule may be another item to add onto your checklist.

On the other hand, regular exercise reduces stress and elevates your mood. And of course, regular moderate exercise keeps you feeling fit and more confident about your appearance, which can increase your desire for intimacy with your partner.

Exercising moderately for 20 to 39 hours per week can improve your conception chances .Moderate exercise and healthy food choices seem to lead the pack of maintaining your reproductive health. The list extends to pointers like maintaining a healthy weight for the purpose of balancing your hormones  and exercising for 30 minutes each day.

So the fact still remains: Exercise is good for you before, during and after pregnancy. But if you are trying to conceive and while you are pregnant, moderation may be the key to getting pregnant quickly, maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight, and losing the weight and staying fit post-pregnancy.

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