From a medical point of view, physical activity has a great impact on health. Not only does it burn calories and reduce body weight, but it also improves mood, keeps muscles, and bones strong, and decreases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
But as the saying goes, “too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Have you ever wondered if intensive exercise has an impact on fertility?
In women, ovulation disorders are one of the main causes of infertility. These are characterized by a lack of ovulation, or changes in the frequency of the period subject to multiple variables from person to person. It has been observed that lifestyle changes, such as exercise and diet, lessen in overweight women the negative effects of disorders such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
But what happens when this exercise is pushed to the limit?
Excessive physical activity has been associated with negative consequences in women athletes. The American College of Sports Medicine calls this phenomenon: “The female athlete triad”, where menstrual dysfunction, low energy and decreased bone mineral density have been interrelated in young women who practice sports that emphasize aesthetics or slimness such as ballet or running. This has a direct impact on fertility.
There is still debate about the best treatment for this disorder. However, a multidisciplinary approach with the support of medical specialists, dieticians and psychiatrists is necessary in the rehabilitation process.
It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control recommends that adults engage in 2.5 hours per week of moderate physical activity such as walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, and Pilates. These are activities that can improve not only your health, but also your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
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Naze, T. G., Ackerman, K. E. (2012). The Female Athlete Triad. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinaty Approach, 4 (4), 302 – 311. Doi:10.1177/1941738112439685.
Hakami, O., & Cameron, L. C. (2016). Effect of Exercise on Ovulation: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 47 (8), 1555 – 1567. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0669-8.