Science has repeatedly proven that exercise improves bone density and heart health. It lowers risk of breast cancer and depression, but what about its role in fertility? How does exercising impact a woman’s cycle and her ability to get pregnant?
I believe working out plays a massive role in fertility, but it’s not as simple as saying this: work out and you’ll get pregnant. When someone is struggling to get pregnant — as I did — every choice and motion is scrutinized. Thus, the conversation has to be gracious, compassionate, and evidence-based, and must evaluate many factors:
- What workout style is currently enjoyed, and might that style impact hormones?
- Has the preferred mode of fitness ever seemed to shorten or lengthen the cycle?
- Is it possible for the desired mode of fitness to actually interfere with a healthy pregnancy by harming the mother or baby?
When the founder of Natural Fertility & Wellness, Donielle Baker, reached out to me to ask me to contribute a yoga routine and video lesson to her new course in The Natural Fertility Tribe, I was humbled and honored. I was also really excited to be a part of something near and dear to my heart.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and I am the least qualified “fertility” expert in this course, but I was brought in because of my training and expertise in how fitness impacts female health and hormones. That’s why I’m part of the Natural Fertility Tribe.
On A Personal Note …
Conceiving my daughter took over a year of trying and included a horrible miscarriage and surgery. I was teaching a lot of group fitness classes and riding my bike to work at the time. So when I traumatically lost that pregnancy, I immediately wondered if my workouts had contributed.
Was I overdoing it? Had my strenuous workouts somehow jostled the baby loose in my womb? Was my body unfriendly to the babies I’d always dreamed of? Would I have to give up teaching fitness and working out to get pregnant?
My doctor was very reassuring and encouraged me to keep exercising but rest more. As it turned out, my issue resided in my low progesterone levels, and I had to be on medication for the first trimester of both of my subsequent pregnancies.
Now, I can’t use this blog to give away everything I said in my lesson in The Natural Fertility Tribe, but I will tell you this:
Pay attention to how your cycle responds to harder, more stressful workouts. My period always arrives early after I do the Portland to Coast relay each year, which makes sense because I do about 19 miles in a single day! My period also shifts if I go through a really big stressor. If you’re doing strenuous workouts, they may be affecting your hormone levels.
If the idea of a natural fertility course led by professionals who have also experienced infertility resonates with you, I’d encourage you to click here and learn more.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, you can end up wrestling with a lot of fears, but fitness shouldn’t be one of them.
You shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t work out at all or give up doing what you love — but if fertility is an issue for you, and you feel led to participate in more gentle things that are still effective, we have over 200 streaming workout videos here on Fit2B Studio. There’s also a couple freebies in this natural fertility course!
What are your thoughts on this?
Have you experienced infertility and used fitness to manage your struggle in any way? What kind of workout was most comforting to you? What kind of workout did you feel you needed to avoid? We’d love to hear from you!