If you’re currently trying to conceive then you’ll want to have a healthy body and mind. Moderate exercising, rather than excessive, exhausting workouts are likely to be the most appropriate type of activity and this is supported by recent studies which found women who performed high-frequency, high-intensity exercise had a lower rate of fertility.
A cohort study was carried out by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, led by Dr Gudmundsdottir and his team. This investigated the association between the levels of physical activity and the group’s fertility rates against the number of children they had in a group.
Over 24,000 healthy women participated (those with poor health or previous fertility problems were excluded from the research as this was looking at a sample of currently healthy women) with their levels of exercise assessed and categorised as:
• Less than once a week
• 2-3 times a week
• Almost every day
Along with the frequency of exercise, the intensity was categorised as:
• Taking it easy
• Loss of breath
• To exhaustion
The group’s fertility was assessed at the follow-up assessments, where the women reported on:
• Their age they had children
• The number of children they had
• Whether they had difficultly conceiving within one year of trying for conception.
Other factors that affect fertility where considered in the study to include:
• Marital status
• Body mass index (BMI)
• Alcohol consumption
The fertility status of the group was compared and the results showed that:
• “Increased frequency and intensity of physical activity was associated with increased infertility”
• “Women who were active on most days of the week were 3.2 times more likely to be infertile than inactive women”
• “Women who exercised ‘to exhaustion’ were 2.3 times more likely to be infertile than women who said they ‘take it easy’”
The researchers concluded that “fertility is negatively affected by physical activity of an extreme intensity and frequency”
Studies show that high-intensity, prolongs strenuous workouts can:
• Increase cortisol levels
• Lower thyroid hormones
• Affect metabolism
• Disturb ovulation
• Menstrual cycle
Both low thyroid hormones and high cortisol levels have been linked to poor adrenal health, which can directly impact thyroid function and affects how the body handles stress long-term, all of which can negatively impact overall hormonal balance and fertility, so by reducing stress and reviewing your exercise regime, you can rebalance your hormones.
By practising fertility yoga you can indeed reduce stress, and still be active but in a positive way which won’t hinder your chances of conceiving – it can actually help!
To find out more about available classes you can visit this page http://www.fertilityyoga.co.uk/yoga-classes/