Are You Fit 4 Fertility?
When you hear the word “fitness,” you probably immediately think of exercise. But the true meaning is much more comprehensive than simply working out. It actually means to be in a condition of readiness. And when you are thinking about getting pregnant, you absolutely need to be fit, both physically and psychologically.
Deciding to start a family or expand your existing one takes a lot of preparation. Becoming pregnant can be an effort for anyone; even the very fertile 20-year-old woman has just a 25% chance of conceiving in any one month, and there may be many stumbling blocks that prevent her from achieving her goal. Only 50% of couples are pregnant after six months. 85% of couples conceive within one year of trying, and 95% within two years. That means that 65% of couples may become frustrated with their slow path to parenthood.
So what’s a couple to do? What could be in the way? The traditional fertility evaluation includes tests to confirm ovulation/release of an egg, as well the “ovarian age.” There are tests to check that the uterus/womb is normal and that the tubes are open to connect the eggs and the sperm. And on the guy’s side, there are tests to confirm the presence of moving, normal-appearing sperm. These are the usual suspects.
But what about confirming that the couple is FIT, or ready to conceive?
Fertility can absolutely be affected if either partner is overweight and out of shape. Obesity can lead to ovulation dysfunction and adversely affect the quality of the egg. Perinatal outcomes can also be adversely affected by obesity and by fat free body mass. And lack of muscle mass, irrespective of weight, may affect glucose and insulin metabolism, additionally impacting ovulation.
On the other hand, low body weight is also a detriment to fertility. Menstrual cycle irregularities are often reported in athletes as well as in ballerinas, and in those with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. For athletes, menstrual irregularities are more often seen during competitive seasons, suggesting the stress of competition is an added factor above and beyond calorie/energy imbalance. And if this stress affects the menstrual cycle, it certainly can have additional affects on fertility and conception.
Humans all around the world are getting pregnant and some small percentage are experiencing infertility. This confirms that there is no SINGLE diet that is essential for fertility, but there is data to suggest that certain foods are beneficial to health. REAL food, not processed foods, is healthier. Fruits and vegetables include key ingredients that should be the mainstay of any diet but particularly a pre-pregnancy one; they are packed with antioxidants that are the scavenger molecules that help repair DNA damaged by the environment. Tobacco, illicit drugs, excessive amounts of alcohol, and ingestion or exposure to toxic chemicals, such as mercury and lead (sorry, sushi fans!), have all been shown to adversely affect fertility rates and should be avoided.
At Fun Fitness for Fertility, we recognize that being fit and ready to conceive is not something that necessarily comes easily to many women. You need support, you need advice, and you need a customized plan of action to be truly prepared for this life-changing event.
Fun Fitness for Fertility helps you develop the right regimen for your body. We help you learn how to eat right, exercise, and develop healthy coping skills to manage your personal stressors.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to request a free consultation.