In your struggle to achieve pregnancy, many questions can often arise in your mind. One of the issues that are most heard quite sometimes was about the equation between weight and infertility, and how they are related. It is best to look at this complex issue with little more depth to give you a better insight on even the other questions abounding this topic.
How are weight and infertility connected?
Though not a direct one, there is a link between your weight and your infertility. This, however, need not be confused with the fact that there’s no necessity that a specific weight will enable you to achieve pregnancy. At the same time, it is no less fact that your weight, diet, and lifestyle choices can still tell on your body’s ability to function properly. Particularly in the case of a woman, the diet and exercise regime she follows can affect her menstrual cycle and thereby her chances of becoming pregnant.
Does your exercise alter the Menstrual Cycle?
Many wonder how exercise is connected to weight and fertility. Generally, people work out either to lose extra weight or to maintain their existing weight. The connection becomes worse when people go overboard in their workout and accordingly some experts point out that frequently engaging in intense workout sessions sans the support of an appropriate diet can not only cause irregular menstruation in a woman but even bone fractures and other problems that can adversely affect your overall health.
Though exercising without an adequate diet can put the body in starvation mode and cause the reproductive system to stop ovulation and have periods, it is not the only way that a woman’s menstrual cycle is disturbed. Sometimes, bodies release stress hormones in response to a woman’s frequent extra-intense workouts that can disrupt an otherwise regular cycle. The rise in cortisol and epinephrine can restrict blood flow to the uterus, thus affecting conception. Hence, we can conclude that stress hormones having an impact on the reproductive organs are the reason behind the misconception that women need to calm down to get pregnant.
How often should a woman workout?
Research has shown that adults require at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity like brisk walking every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. Alternatively, a similar mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week can also work for all major muscle groups like legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
If you are working out too much than this, then you are affecting the menstruation cycle. The exception where your period might not be affected is when you are consuming more calories than you’re burning while exercising. But again, the foods and beverages you are absorbing can also have an impact on your menstruation cycle.
The next step to take if you struggle to conceive
There could be a link between your weight and infertility, but it could be something else entirely. The first step you can do is meet your primary care physician and have a complete physical check-up performed. If you are overweight, obese, or underweight, it may be time to discuss a diet, nutrition and physical activity plan with them to help you get to a healthy weight.
Physicians can also help you fix any vitamin deficiencies in your diet which you must be made aware of, as sometimes these can be linked with fertility too. As part of your physical checkup, they will likely give you a blood test which will reveal if there are any other irregularities you should know like thyroid issues, heart attack risk, cholesterol issues, etc.
Once you’ve ruled out the weight and other factors as a cause of your infertility, it might then be time to meet with a fertility specialist if you are still struggling to conceive. Should it come to that point, and you’re looking for a fertility doctor, we hope you might well think of the Oasis Center for Reproductive Medicine, the trusted fertility experts that help solve fertility issues in men and women.