A healthy exercise routine combined with a balanced diet is an excellent way to improve fertility associated with ovary-related disorders in women. Exercise reduces high stress levels linked to the development of heart and blood vessel diseases and depression, which subsequently can have negative effects on female ovulation (formation of eggs in the ovary) and menstruation.
A 2007 study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who exercise and eat a balanced diet containing reduced amounts of saturated fats, more dairy products and less meat had less ovulation problems.1 A more recent study on a group of infertile, obese women has shown that a 12-week program of specific diet and exercise has favorable effect on the metabolic and menstrual parameters in these women.2
Evidence-based guidelines also indicate that a regular exercise routine before and during gestation is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. In addition to maintaining physical fitness, a healthy exercise routine may also be beneficial in preventing or treating many diseases affecting the mother and her child growing in the womb.3
Furthermore, some specific yoga postures may increase fertility, as these postures help to stimulate the blood flow to the reproductive system, stimulate ovulation and make the uterus healthier for conception.4 Therefore, this type of physical activity can also be used as an adjunct to infertility treatment.
- Available online at: http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/fertility-lifestyle.asp. Accessed on: 12 Jan 09.
- Miller PB, Forstein DA, Styles S. Effect of Short-term Diet and Exercise on Hormone Levels and Menses in Obese, Infertile Women. J Reprod Med. 2008; 53(5): 315–319.
- Weissgerber TL, Wolfe LA, Davies GA, Mottola MF. Exercise in the Prevention and Treatment of Maternal-fetal Disease: A Review of the Literature. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2006; 31(6): 661–674.
- Khalsa HK. Yoga: An Adjunct to Infertility Treatment. Fertil Steril. 2003; 80(Suppl 4): 46–51.