There are multiple factors that can impact a woman’s reproductive health: environment, lifestyle, behavior – all of those potentially influencingtime to pregnancy(TTP).
A cohort study was done looking at women who have a history of 1-2 pregnancy losses, and their level of physical activity, and how that impacts their future TTP.
Exercise is a tricky thing though – too much vigorous exercise can negatively impact menstrual cycle and hormone health, decreasing fertility, but some exercise can have positive effects on TTC by mediating stress and anxiety, improving BMI, and positively shifting blood lipids and reducing inflammation. There is no known threshold for the amount or intensity of activity required to achieve optimal fertility.
The study found that walking > 10 minutes at a time was associated with decreased TTP in women with a BMI > 25 & Vigorous exercise > 4 hours/week was also associated with decreased TTP independent of BMI.
But what is “vigorous exercise” ? Each person is going to have their own exercise tolerance limit, that is built with time and types of activities you’re doing. The study defined “vigorous exercise” as –activities that take hard physical effort and make you breath much harder than normal.
I like to recommend to patients – get out there, get moving, do something you enjoy, get your heart rate up, and sweat! Your preferred exercise can be as unique as you!
So whether it’s for the physical, mental, emotional, or biochemical benefits, exercise within your personal limits is something to consider when TTC !
Weakness of the study – it was only evaluating time to pregnancy, not live birth rates.