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Can you eat or exercise your way out of infertility?

Posted on: 23 April, 2015

An infertility diagnosis can be tricky. Your diagnosis could point to something specific, like a hormone problem or an egg quality issue, but often it is unexplained with a list of contributing factors or things that it could be. A culprit could be weight.

The connection between body weight and fertility has been studied quite a bit but overall is still not completely understood. Being overweight has been shown to affect your ability to conceive – for men and women. Similarly, being under weight is also an issue. Sex steroid hormones – testosterone in men and estradiol in women – accumulate in body fat. Complex interactions between hormones and fat cells can cause an alteration of reproductive function.1

Women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can often control this disease through diet. Most women diagnosed with PCOS are “insulin resistant” meaning their bodies produce too much insulin. The reaction between insulin and hormones can decrease fertility. Some women with PCOS are overweight but it has been shown that regulating insulin levels through eating a high fat, low carb diet can help manage the disease.2

The second key component of leading a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Some people have built activity into their daily routines….others have to fit it in between meetings. It is a daily struggle for many to eat right and exercise but it is clearly crucial to staying healthy in general with the added benefit of ensuring your ability to conceive. The concept is simple: calories in must be offset by physical activity. If you are trying to incorporate a new diet or exercise regime, you should always start slow with easy, attainable goals and build from there. Be sure to listen to your body and it is also a good idea to consult a physician.

The fact remains that forming healthy eating and exercising habits that help you maintain a healthy weight is crucial to your health and can help with a host of maladies that sometimes plague overweight (or underweight) people – one of those being infertility.

Are you struggling with a weight issue that is possibly connected with infertility? What challenges to you find the most difficult when trying to maintain a healthy weight? Do you enjoy exercise or is it something you struggle with only to stay healthy?