How Exercise Affects Your Fertility

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Though I exercise pretty regularly, I don’t always enjoy it. What I do enjoy is the benefits of exercise. I have more energy, I’m able to move around better, and I even sleep better. However, if you’re getting ready to start a family and are thinking about trying to get pregnant, you may want to evaluate your workout routine. Working out too hard or too much may actually impact your fertility, and the same things goes for men as well.

Impacting Fertility
For women, exercising too much or too hard can suppress reproductive hormones and make you less likely to conceive. In addition to this, excessive calorie burning and physical stress can make a women stop ovulating, which will obviously impact fertility negatively. If you’re the type of women who loses body fat easily, then this can also make you less likely to get pregnant as well.

A healthy exercise regime should never make your body unhealthy in other ways. Sure you’re losing weight and you may feel good, but if you start to lose an unhealthy amount of weight or if you start exercising to the point where necessary functions like ovulation come to a halt, you should think about cutting back.

Exercise and Men’s Fertility
Obviously men don’t have to worry about not ovulating, but exercise can negatively impact male fertility as well. Have you ever heard that hot tubs make a man’s sperm count lower? It’s not the water that does it, it’s the heat. When a man’s body temperature gets above 96°, sperm starts to die, thereby impacting fertility.

Exercise also increases body temperature and if your partner’s testicles become too warm, his sperm count can decrease. Losing too much body fat can also lead to poor sperm motility and sperm morphology. In addition to this, being underweight due to excess physical exertion also lowers testosterone, which can also affect sperm.

How Much Exercise is Healthy?
The healthiest amount of exercise that not only keeps your body fit, but also stimulates fertility is 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. A little more and a little less is also sufficient depending on how physical fit you are. Also, low impact exercises are more likely to increase blood flow and help with fertility. Some exercises include:

  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Yoga

However, you don’t have to stick with just these exercises. A well rounded exercise plan will be just as effective and won’t hurt your chances of conceiving.


Source: Conceptions. (n.d.). Fertility 101: exercise and fertility. Carolina Conceptions.

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