Sunday, 5 October 2014

Too much exercise may impede fertility in men and women

Moderate exercise aid and abet in escalating the general health and fertility. But nothing in excess is good and sometimes, too much exercise can be the culprit behind infertility in both men and women. 

In men, excessive exercising along with the  intake of steroids have shown to decrease testosterone hormone and sperm count, cause prostrate irritation, which can negatively affect fertility. When the body of a man is overheated too often, the sperms are more likely to die and leave him infertile. Men who are underweight and have low body fat may experience problems of sperm motility and morphology.

The level of FSH and LH are reduced  by strenuous exercise. These are the key hormones in gamete production, ( sperms and eggs) so there will be less sperm production and reduced ovulation. Strenuous exercise can affect estrogen levels and cause irregular periods, sometimes even stopping menstruation completely ensuing in failure to conceive. It has been observed that often, women who take up strenuous sports like athletics or weight lifting  have difficulty in conceiving and  don't get their periods regularly. 

Women are biologically meant to have more fat than men for the function of child bearing. There can be lean periods, for which human body is storing up energy. The hormone estrogen promotes fat deposition in some areas like breast and thighs. Men are genetically coded to identify women who are fertile by their hour glass appearance. Vigorous exercise or stringent dieting, as in anorexia make women not only less fertile,  but less attractive. 

In the women undergoing IVF treatment, regular strenuous exercise over a period of time leads to poorer success rates. Unfortunately media and advertisement drives the whole world to think that thinner women are more acceptable. 

Walking, swimming, yoga, gardening etc are good forms of exercise, which will increase blood circulation and improve fertility. So the gist of the matter  is that moderate physical activity is imperative for a healthy body and can enhance fertility among  men and women, but excessive exercise can impede fertility.

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre


Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy . Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.

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