- Find a Fertility Doctor or Clinic
- Fertility Health
- Trying to Conceive
- Female Infertility
- Male Infertility
- General or Unexplained Infertility
- Fertility Treatments
- Getting and Paying for Fertility Treatment
- Family Building Options
- LGBT Family Building
- Ask Dr. Fertility
- Fertility Forum
Your Fertility Appointment Today to Start Your Family Tomorrow
You are here
Too Much Exercise and Fertility
You’re fit, watch what you eat and exercise daily, so what could be the trouble? Sometimes, too much exercise can be the culprit in infertility for both men and women.
Studies have found that exercise can cause infertility in men when the body is overheated too often. When body temperatures rise above 96 degrees, sperm is more likely to die and leave a man infertile. Men who are underweight and have low body fat may also experience low sperm motility (how fast sperm moves) and sperm morphology (the sperm’s ideal shape).
Women who exercise too much may lose too much body fat, which can affect estrogen levels and cause irregular periods (oligomenorrhea), or even stop menstruation (amenorrhea), both of which will leave her infertile. This situation may be called hypothalamic amenorrhea.
But even if menstrual cycles remain consistent, some research has found that just four hours a week of exercise lowered conception by 40 percent. Cardiovascular workouts like aerobics and running also resulted in a reduced chance in live births after in vitro fertilization in 30 percent of the study participants.
But exercise is not entirely bad. Exercise may help reduce stress, which often goes hand-in-hand with infertility. To increase fertility rates, make adjustments to your fitness routine, such as reducing the number of days per week you exercise, as well as the hours per day, avoiding overexertion and switching to lower-intensity activities that burn less fat, such as walking, Tai Chi, pilates and yoga are touted for easing stress, promoting weight loss and in the case of yoga, even promoting fertility.