Running has been given a bad reputation when it comes to infertility, fertility and fertility treatments. You might be asking why? I had the same question.
I started researching and trying to figure out if running while trying to get pregnant was okay.
I’ve always been a casual runner, never an elite runner who can run between 35-60 miles per week on average. But I did run and train for a marathon while going through three medicated IUI’s.
I can’t go back and change it, but it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to train for a marathon while undergoing fertility treatments.
When I asked my fertility office if exercise was okay, they said I could still exercise, but not do more then what I was already doing. They didn’t specifically mention running, so I figured it was fine because I was already running.
When we went in for an IUI I asked the nurse (who performed our IUI) about exercise during the two week wait. She said nothing high impact, as it could interfere with implantation.
I found conflicting articles; they are either fully against any type of exercise, or they are okay with limited exercise.
Some will say reaching exhaustion is bad, and others say impact from legs hitting the pavement causes inflammation and stress to the body. Which puts all the body’s energy and blood towards fixing muscles, instead of the blood flowing towards the reproductive organs.
There weren’t any studies suggesting that running would interfere with your body’s natural fertility and prevent you from becoming pregnant.
There are so many mixed messages, and each fertility doctor is different when it comes to exercise during fertility treatments.
Those that are pro exercise, say it’s needed for women with PCOS, and need to lose a few pounds in order to get pregnant. The other side of the spectrum for those elite athletes, who probably should cut back on their activity level in order to increase chances of getting pregnant.
I was getting frustrated because there was nothing for my current situation, because I’m between the two spectrums. I don’t have PCOS, and I’m not an elite athlete.
Most researchers are careful to try and prove that heavy exercise causes infertility. Because there could be other underlying factors; such as amenorrhea (absence of menstrual period), not eating enough or having enough energy, and having low bone density (female athlete triad).
From my own personal research, and a little based on how I feel; your diet, your exercise habits, and the amount of sleep, can all affect fertility.
Obviously, you need to go off of how your body ultimately feels, and what you’re currently doing as far as exercise. Being on fertility drugs can really cause havoc to your body, you can gain a lot of weight without doing anything different.
There’s a lot of factors, more than what I’ve listed, that can affect fertility. So please don’t assume that exercise, or just your diet could be affected, it could very much be a mixture of things.
So is it okay to run during treatments?
I think for me yes to a point. I am very much going to be running though not as much and especially not a lot during the TWW.
PLEASE talk to your doctor before doing anything out of what you normally do day to day.
Here are a few sites on running and fertility:
How Diet Affects Fertility – Really good read on carbs, protein, fat, dairy, and exercise
Can Jogging Affect Fertility – Has references down at the bottom
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, if you have questions about running while doing fertility treatments I would talk to your RE, or your medical doctor.
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