Watch Out Gym Rats! Your Workout Could Keep You from Getting Pregnant

Photo: Veer / The Bump
Photo: Veer / The Bump

You might want to take it a little easier at the gym if you’re trying to get pregnant. We’ve covered how exercise affects fertility before, but now a new study published in Fertility and Sterility provides further proof that moderate exercise is good for fertility, but over-exercising may slow down the baby-making process.

In the study, researchers looked at 3,500 Danish women over the span of a year, according to Reuters. These women were between the ages of 18 and 40, were actively trying to get pregnant and weren’t receiving fertility treatments. The women were asked how many hours a week they worked out and also what their exercise routine involved. About 70 percent of the women became pregnant during the study and researchers found that moderate exercise helped most of them get pregnant faster — those who spent five hours a week doing moderate exercise were 18 percent more likely to become pregnant than women who exercised fewer hours a week. And for the women who had a strenuous exercise routine, they were 32 percent less likely to have gotten pregnant in that time period. Weight and body mass index were not a factor in these findings.

The researchers admit that they need to do more research since the women self-reported their exercise routines, and could have misjudged the intensity of their workouts. It’s still uncertain why strenuous exercise may affect a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, although some theories are that the lack of body fat can cause women to have irregular periods and that exercise may affect how the egg implants in a woman’s uterus.

How often do you exercise? If you’re trying to get pregnant, have you modified your fitness routine?