(Closed) Did exercising affect your fertility?

posted 5 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
3017 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I tried to reply to you but it didn’t work. Anyways, here’s my two cents:

I ran competitively in college (so I was running between 30 and 60 miles per week) and was also on birth control pills. I remember I totally skipped my period only twice in those four years. I did have lower body fat but I also ate a lot of food. I stopped taking BCP after college.

A couple years ago I did a two week kayaking expedition with my best friend. We paddled 220 miles and we didn’t have enough food! We totally had to ration, eating really small meals, it sucked and I definitely lost weight! After the trip my period was over two weeks late (I even took a pregnancy test but I was like- there’s no way I’m pregnant because I’ve just been out kayaking with a girl and not having sex duh). I assume I just didn’t ovulate until after the trip was over and I was stuffing my face again haha.

We’re TTC now (this is our third cycle FX!) and I’m still just exercising as much as I want- if it delays ovulation, then so be it. I want to start pregnancy in good shape, plus I’m really active for my job. I’m making sure to eat enough calories and to drink plenty of water. I’ve had a few friends who are professional athletes get pregnant (one was an oopsies) so I’m not too worried about it. If you’re eating well, not losing weight or not losing much, and are menstruating regularly I think you’re fine!

Here is a link I found that seemed pretty good/informative:


Post # 4
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think if your cycles are regular and you’re ovulating, then the exercise you’re doing should be fine. I always exercised 6 days a week and did run quite a bit, then a few months before we TTC, I changed my routine, and added more interval training. I ended up losing about 8 lbs, but was still well within a healthy weight. I am 5’3″ and went from 132lbs to 124lbs. This change was enough to affect my cycle. I became irregular and began spotting throughout the month. I cut back on the exercise, and gained back 6lbs and within a few months all went back to normal.




Post # 5
2655 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@lealorali:  I have heard that you should do lighter exercise when TTC. But I’d love to know what others would say because I’m in this dilemma at the moment.

Post # 6
8862 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@lealorali:  i know a lot of ironman triathletes who are parents.

running a lot, cycling a lot, exercising a lot should not effect your fertility.


Post # 7
2183 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

I had the opposite situation. I got pregnant while in physical therapy for a broken foot… I was totally inactive and got pregnant immediately. 

Post # 8
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I got pregnant while marathon training.  I think as long as the exercise you’re doing isn’t so strenuous as to prevent ovulation you will be ok.




Post # 9
2625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Commenting to follow!

Post # 10
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@lealorali:  Upping my exercise seemed to make me more fertile and I would assume it’s because I was healtheir from the exercise and watching my diet more (i.e. not eating crap or drinking alcohol.)  In fact, when I got pregnant I was doing power lifting classes at Lifestyle Fitness gym 3 days per week.

As for running, a good friend of mine is a regular runner and she had no issues getting pregnant twice.  Her doctor told her she could keep running until she got uncomfortable or felt off-balance due to the belly.  She ran well into her second trimester during both pregnancies.  She even ran a half marathon relay event with a friend while in her first trimester.  Other than feeling more tired than usual and having to hydrate more often, she said she didn’t have any issues.

Post # 11
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Just make sure to eat enough!!

I didn’t get my period for months after I went off the pill.  I had to gain about 10 pounds to get my cycles to come back — no I was not underweight, just not quite getting enough calories to compensate for my exercise.  I still have a short luteal phase, which is often related.

If your cycles start to get longer/wonky/shorter cut back on the running and up your calories. 

Post # 12
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m not a medical professional and I’m not really a fitness buff but I did do some research on this because DH’s BFF is hardcore into exercising and is TTC. I think generally speaking, regular, not crazy intense, exercise is good for everyone, including those TTC. However, it’s best to avoid taking on new activities that are very intense and definitely scale back if your cycles start becoming irregular. It’s also important to maintain a healthy fat intake and caloric intake. There’s some research that progesterone gets converted into cortisol when you exercise too intensely and this of course is bad for the TTW. This can affect the luteal period and cause it to become shorter which means the implantation may not fully take place.

Post # 15
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

@lealorali:  That sounds exactly what happened to me.  I started working out more and lost a few pounds while I was on the pill.  When I went off — no period.  After lots of waiting and research and utterly unhelpful doctors I decided HA was the likely culprit and starting upping my calories, figuring it couldn’t possibly hurt anything.  I started cycling again after a round of Provera.  Was it the Provera or eating more or both that did it?  Who knows.  I didn’t really cut back on my workouts, though.  I also still have a short luteal phase, which studies have linked to strenuous exercise. 

It sounds like with the amount of training you are doing, an extra few pounds won’t make you anywhere near fat and might be worth trying. (It didn’t make me fat either!)  The main thing is to make sure that you are never at a caloric deficit for the day.  Your brain can interpret that as “famine!” “starvation!” and suppresses ovulation.  Whether or not it does varies a lot from person to person.  But now whenever I see someone in killer shape with low body fat I always wonder whether or not she still gets her period. 

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