Exercise And Fertility - What Is The Connection?
The benefits of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle are widely known. When people make moderate exercise part of their daily life they can improve their general health as well as their fitness levels. Many people are unaware that there is a connection between exercise and fertility. Whether you are thinking about getting pregnant or struggling with infertility, the following advice about exercise will be beneficial.
Increasing Fertility Through Exercise
Regular exercise when combined with a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle can help to increase fertility levels. Women wanting to conceive can use exercise to prepare their bodies for the changes that pregnancy brings and the physical challenges of labor. Regular exercise is good for both physical and mental health. In addition, exercise reduces body fat. About 30% of estrogen comes from fat cells. Too much fat in your body can alter your hormone balance and therefore lower your chances of conceiving.
Exercise And Stress
Coping with infertility can be very stressful, both physically and emotionally. Treatments such as IVF bring a lot of pressure to relationships. It can be very difficult to remain positive and stress free during these challenging times. Unfortunately, stress can lead to health problems and interfere with ovulation and menstruation.
Exercise can be a great stress buster. When you exercise, endorphins are released, which encourages your body to cope better with pain and stress. Research has shown that regular exercise helps to maintain healthy sleep patterns and in doing so, encourages relaxation and good health.
Over-Exercising And Fertility
Not all exercise is healthy. Over-exercising is one of the causes of infertility in women. Women who exercise excessively are at risk of losing too much body fat. Body fat helps to produce estrogen in the body. Just as too much body fat causes hormone imbalance, too little body fat can cause irregular ovulation. It is common for women who over-exercise to develop amenorrhea which stops menstrual periods entirely.
Scientists also believe that the endorphins which are released during exercise can also increase prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone connected to breast milk and can interrupt ovulation.
Yoga And Fertility
Women need to find the exercise program that is right for them. However, many doctors are now recommending that women use yoga in conjunction with their medical treatments. A Harvard based study found that women who were trying to conceive were three times more likely to be successful if they took a fertility oriented yoga course at the same time. It is believed that yoga helps to relieve stress and anxiety and therefore increases the likelihood of conceiving.