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Fertility Road Issue 14

  • Text
  • Fertility
  • April
  • Charlize
  • Sperm
  • Donation
  • Embryo
  • Eeva
  • Embryos
  • Detox
  • Reproductive

F E R T I L I T Y R O A

F E R T I L I T Y R O A D F I T F O R F E R T I L I T Y 20 | WWW.FERTILITYROAD.COM | APRIL - MAY 2013

Are your exercise habits helping or hindering your odds of conceiving? Lucy Miller finds out the facts that every woman should know. ARE YOU TOO FIT TO GET FAT? or most being too fit is not a concern. But I’m prime evidence that being too active and too healthy can affect your fertility. I’m an ex-national gymnast. From a young age it was drummed in to me that exercise and lots of it, is good, and so is having a low body fat. So since hanging up my leotard at the ripe age of 17, I carried on training – and hard. After training for marathons, duathlons, fitness competitions and the like, I continued to push and push my body to the extreme. For years it coped but it dawned on me two years ago that something wasn’t right. My periods completely stopped and I felt exhausted, irritable and unmotivated. I had overcooked it and burnt my body out – and was now paying the price. I wanted to start a family, and couldn’t. How and why did this happen? And when did a good workout become such a bad idea? Overdoing it According to research there is a very strong link between strenuous exercise and delayed conception. Whilst there is no substantial evidence, scientists have many a times linked a woman’s reduced ability to conceive to the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response, which occurs when the body perceives itself to be in danger. This is often triggered by intense exercise and results in the body releasing cortisol and adrenalin into the blood stream, to provide the body with that extra surge of energy needed to run from the ‘enemy’ and survive. Unfortunately, you’re body can’t distinguish the difference between stress caused by high-impact exercise or stress caused by danger, so it does what it needs to do to survive, which really stresses the body out, and in turn inhibits a women’s ability to conceive. There’s more researcher to back this up too. Scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that women who performed high frequency, high-intensity exercise had a lower rate of fertility, because too much physical exhaustion saps the body of the energy it needs for a successful pregnancy. Exercise can also play havoc with your estrogen levels, the female hormone that plays a huge role in ovulation and menstruation. The good news is, that this particular study concluded that these negative effects of a punishing routine were not permanent, and the vast majority of women in the study had children in the end. » APRIL - MAY 2013 | WWW.FERTILITYROAD.COM | 21

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