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Fertility

How to take Clomid for Twins and when to take it Properly?

take clomid for twinsClomiphene citrate (Clomid or Serophene) is a type of medication commonly used for infertility treatment. This drug is used to induce ovulation in women that do not develop and release an egg through ovulation on their own. Women who are anovulatory (do not ovulate without medications) often have medical conditions that alter hormone production, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

In certain cases, the use of Clomid increases the number of eggs released. Clomid works through an anti-estrogen” mechanisms that trick the brain into believing estrogen levels in the body are low. The drug does this by binding to estrogen receptors in the brain, blocking the ability of estrogen to bind and work. The brain, believing the body has low estrogen, releases GnRH hormone, which goes to the pituitary gland, stimulating the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone stimulates the development of a mature follicle (egg structure) in the ovary.

 

How to take Clomid for Twins

If you are considering Clomid twins, the average ovulation occurs on days 10 through 14. This occurs after completing a course of Clomid pills. This varies a bit, depending on whether the woman ovulates regularly or not. Some women will ovulate before 10 days and some after 14 days. The protocol for taking Clomid is different for women who do not ovulate and those who have regular menstrual cycles.

After taking Clomid for twins, you should consider the best time for intercourse. Ovulatory kids are available at supermarkets and drugstores, and they are urine tests that women do at home. These ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) are designed to detect the presence of a woman’s LH surge. This surge begins around 36 hours before ovulation. The prediction kits are done once a day, and when positive, then sex should be that day or the following morning.

 

Best Days to take Clomid for Twins

The best days to take Clomid are 7-14 days after the medications begin. The ovulation prediction kit test is done each day. The egg lifespan is around 12-24 hours, and the woman has a 32-day cycle on Clomid, then she will ovulate around day 18. Ovulation occurs 14 days before the onset of the next menstrual cycle. The sperm can live in the female reproductive tract for 3-5 days, but the egg’s lifespan is only 12-24 hours. Therefore, intercourse a day or two before ovulation is fine, but sex 24 hours after ovulation will not help.

A typical Clomid cycle is day 10-14 of the cycle (five days before anticipated ovulation). However, when the woman has a 32- to 36-day cycle, this could be extended to days 10-18. Clomid cycles are usually monitored using follicle ultrasound scans and blood hormone levels. The blood hormone levels are done to determine the timing of intrauterine insemination (IUI) or sexual intercourse.

 

Clomid Twins

What is the percentage of conceiving multiples or twins on Clomid? In a large clinical study involving women taking Clomid, researchers found that 92% of pregnancies resulted in singletons (one baby), but 7% resulted in twins. The chances of having triplets was less than 1%, and quadruplets or more were very rare.

Clomid has an 80% success rate for ovulation, but only half of these women become pregnant. The limits of Clomid success involve altered endometrial effects and cervical mucus changes. However, taking Clomid increases a woman’s chances of having twins. According to statistics, Clomid can increase the chance of twins by 10%.

 

Scheduled for Hysterectomy? Study Shows You May Not Need It!

Hysterectomy is the second most prevalent type of surgery that women of reproductive age undergo in the USA because it can address a number of female medical conditions as the last resort; however, new research says that about a fifth of all hysterectomies performed in the US may no longer be necessary for the future.

Hysterectomy - Female Reproductive Organ SurgeryHold the Surgery!

In a study that was recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, data showed that 20% of hysterectomies done as treatment to non-cancerous medical conditions may have alternative treatments and are not necessary. The study also suggests that alternative therapies and treatments are underutilized.

A 20% reduction is significant because it is projected that 1 in every 3 American women will have a hysterectomy by the time they reach age 60. This figure remains true although figures have fallen from 680,000 in 2002 to just around 434,000 in 2010.

Melissa Goist, OB-GYN and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus shared that a hysterectomy is a serious surgery that entails the surgical extraction of the uterus (sometimes including the cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes) that can pose a serious risk of injury because major organs and blood vessels are moved around during the procedure.

Because of the above, complications following a hysterectomy can include bleeding and blood clots in the deep veins of the body, damage to internal organs such as the bladder and bowels, complications with anesthesia use, and infections. More so, because the uterus is taken away, a woman who’ve had a hysterectomy will no longer be able to get pregnant and will no longer have menstrual periods.

Who Are Candidates for Hysterectomy?

The above is not to say that the risks of having a hysterectomy outweigh the benefits. In cancerous conditions and other life-threatening medical issues, taking out the diseased organ is an absolute necessity to save the woman’s life.

Hysterectomies are used as a surgical intervention for cancers affecting the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries. It is also used to treat uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, severe endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. It should be noted that the majority of hysterectomies are performed to those diagnosed with benign conditions.

Women’s health specialist and OB-GYN Sheryl Ross says that she isn’t surprised by the findings but thinks that women should be given alternatives therapies prior to being told to undergo a hysterectomy. She further added that alternative treatments such as the use of hormones can treat benign gynecological medical conditions and that doctors are underutilizing them.

Alternatives to Look Into

Ross shared that women diagnosed with fibroids can ask their doctors about uterine artery embolization that may help shrink the uterine masses. Myectomy can also be an option instead of taking out the entire uterus, thus preserving fertility. For those with severe and chronic bleeding, endometrial ablation might be the answer and that the use of a pessary and Kegel exercises may help support the uterus of women with uterine prolapse.

Ross further added that those who are truly in need of a hysterectomy are women who’ve already tried and failed non-surgical options. Goist agreed to this and recommended that women should be pro-active in asking their doctors regarding alternative treatments. After all, a gynecological surgeon’s primary responsibility is to give the patient the best possible treatment.

Ovarian Tissue Freezing VS Egg Freezing, What is the Better Option?

Egg freezing for the preservation of a woman’s biological capacity to have a child has long been applied to some medical cases, but what if a woman’s special health condition won’t allow egg freezing to be an option for fertility preservation?

What if a woman wants to preserve hormonal function and not just fertility? Will ovarian tissue cryopreservation be the answer? Is it a better option than egg freezing or is it not?

Ovarian Tissue FreezingNew Study on Ovarian Tissue Freezing Gives Hope

Ovarian tissue freezing has been an experimental procedure with limited data available in the past, but a new study published in a SAGE Publishing journal, Reproductive Sciences, showed that it enabled almost 4 out of 10 women (or 37.7% of women) who’ve had the procedure to have children later on – a statistical figure that is giving hope to many affected individuals.

Highly Encouraging Results

The scientists involved in the study, Dr. Kutluk Oktay (the same person who did the first ovarian tissue freezing in 1999) and Dr. Fernanda Pacheco, his colleague and study co-author, examined 17 years’ worth of existing data from 1999 to 2016 to determine the procedure’s success rate. Their documentation shared the following information:

  • 84 births plus 8 pregnancies that went beyond the first trimester resulted from 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures.
  • In the 113 cases that recorded the women’s ages at the time when their ovarian tissue was frozen, the procedure reversed menopause and restored the reproductive functions of nearly two-thirds of the women (a figure of 63.9%).
  • Women in the study either resumed having natural fertility, ovarian follicle growth, or menstrual cycle using their cryopreserved ovarian tissue. It is also recorded that women who conceived have an average age of 27 years.
  • In the majority of cases in the study, natural fertility was restored resulting to 1/3 of those women (37.6%) needing IVF to get pregnant and 2/3 (62.3%) being able to conceive naturally.

Is Ovarian Tissue Freezing Superior to Egg Cryopreservation?

Dr. Oktay stated that his findings show that ovarian tissue freezing is a superior fertility preservation compared to egg freezing because it does not only save a woman’s eggs but also reverse menopause and restore natural fertility.

Dr. Oktay says that the next step following this study is to find out how this can help delay childbearing in healthy women and not just women with medical conditions such as various cancers.

Possibilities Abound

Doctors Pacheco and Oktay wrote that the procedure is still in the experimental realm despite clinical progress being made (and available) in the last 17 years. They also shared that the data they have may help women who are considering delaying childbearing and preserving their fertility until much later in life.

The doctors stated that given the results of their study, ovarian tissue cryopreservation should be seen as a viable means to preserve fertility.

We say that the above information just shows that we live in a very exciting time. Here’s to more positive reproductive health and fertility news!

Drug Found to Prevent the Damaging Effects of Chemotherapy to Fertility

It is already known that standard chemotherapies have a negative impact on women’s fertility; which is why some of those who have to undergo chemotherapy choose to have their eggs preserved prior to treatment. A positive development regarding this has come to light as a drug that is currently being used to slow down tumor growth was also found to be capable of protecting the ovaries from the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

ChemotherapyHappy News

In a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers shared that the ovaries of mice given the drug prior to being exposed to chemotherapeutic compounds were protected from expected damage.

The research team led by scientists from NYU Langone Medical Center found that the drug everolimus protected ovaries from the effects of cyclophosphamide – a chemotherapeutic agent usually used in the treatment of breast cancer but was also known to cause the depletion of egg cells needed to achieve conception.

After their treatment, female mice that were treated with chemotherapy and everolimus were found to be able to produce twice as many offspring as mice that were only given chemotherapy.

The study authors say that studies with strong results with an already available drug (such as this) may have a speedier process of applying for permission to test in premenopausal human cancer patients.

Clinical Significance Abound

Kara Goldman, MD, the study’s author and NYU Langone reproductive endocrinologist said that their findings with the use of everolimus may represent a cancer treatment that does not affect fertility in the future. She added that this can be used to complement the freezing of embryos and eggs that are doubtless valued methods but have quite a few cons such as being too expensive, too time consuming, not protective of ovarian function, and is less effective with age.

Goldman entered into research fellowship after a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology because she wanted to identify drugs that can address the gap she sees in her practice as a fertility specialist. She added that patients need more options and should not have to face devastating life choices wherein they have to choose between preserving their ability to have children in the future and getting treated for cancer.

A Positive Beacon for Those with Ovarian Issues

Goldman’s current study revolves around the ovaries, the female reproductive organ with a limited supply of eggs that give rise to a baby. Although women begin puberty with around 300,000 primordial follicles that can develop into egg cells, fertility specialists realized that women who’ve undergone chemotherapy treatments have a markedly reduced ability to conceive because the treatment shrinks ovarian reserves.

The research team expressed their commitment in answering questions as to whether their findings will be applicable in general fertility. They do acknowledge that a medication that can protect and extend ovarian function would be valuable not just for cancer patients but also for women who have other health conditions that cause irreversible depletion of their ovarian reserve.

Licorice May Reduce Fertility by Reducing Sex Hormone Production

You’ve probably heard of licorice root being used for the relief of menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes) and to possibly fight cancer, but you’ve probably never heard that it may pose negative implications for women’s fertility as found in a new study that licorice may reduce fertility.

Not A Sweet News About Licorice

In a study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, researchers shared that exposure to the compound isoliquiritigenin in licorice is related to a decreased production of female sex hormones. They found out that isoliquiritigenin reduce the expression of genes associated with female sex hormone production thereby reducing the production of estrogen.

University of Illinois researcher Jodi Flaws and her colleagues did not go into the effect of reduced sex hormones in reproductive health in the study; however, they stated that said reduction in sex hormones may have serious implications in human fertility.

Licorice May Reduce FertilityA Backgrounder on Licorice

Commonly known as a form of chewy candy, licorice has been used as part of traditional and alternative medicine for centuries. The licorice root used in sweet concoctions and medicine is from a perennial plant that is native to many parts of Asia and Europe. It is often used as a sweeter because the root contains a compound that is about 50X sweeter than sugar.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the medicinal properties of licorice in the past. It has been scientifically proven to help prevent peptic ulcers, reduce hot flashes, relieve indigestion, treat coughs and colds, and even minimize the risk of some cancers. At present time, the compound isoliquiritigenin in licorice is being used as a tobacco flavoring agent and is often added to teas and herbal supplements.

Rewarded Curiosity

According to the research team, previous studies using animal models have shown that botanicals such as isoliquiritigenin may interfere with sex hormones, particularly estrogen. This piqued their interest and they wanted to find out whether isoliquiritigenin will have the same effect.

The team found out that aromatase gene expression was halved after exposure to isoliquiritigenin in the antral follicles of female mice that were exposed to the compound for periods of 48 to 96 hours. The test subjects’ antral follicles (a part of the ovary that expresses genes associated in the production of various hormones particularly estrogen) were exposed to either the isoliquiritigenin compound or a control compound during the study.

The study gathered that a reduced expression of genes associated with sex hormone production was observed when the mice’s antral follicles were bared to high levels of isoliquiritigenin. The most significant finding is that they identified a 50% reduction in gene expression for aromatase, an enzyme that turns testosterone to estrogen.

Why This Deserves Scientific Attention

With the above findings making its way to the scientific community, the research team stresses that their findings are only preliminary and that studies in live subjects are warranted. With this said, they also state that their early findings strongly suggest that exposure to the licorice compound isoliquiritigenin has a real potential to cause health issues and reproductive problems.

It is to be noted that lower sex hormones can pose a threat to general health because hormones are tied up with so many other processes in the body. In the case of estrogen, it is important for healthy bones, healthy brains, and healthy cardiovascular system. A 50% reduction in aromatase means a 50% reduction in estrogen production that can pose fertility issues and other health problems.

Oral Contraceptives Pose a Threat to Healthy Women?

A recently published study shared that the most common combined oral contraceptive pill pose a negative impact on the quality of life of women who use the said pills; although it does not cause an increase in depressive symptoms.

The above findings were published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility earlier this year. The data was collected from a major randomized placebo-controlled study conducted by the collaborative efforts of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet researchers and the Stockholm School of Economics.

Oral ContraceptivesNew OCP Study Sheds Light on Important Issue

Karolinska Institutet Department of Women’s and Children’s Health professor Angelica Lindén Hirschberg stated that we know very little as to how oral contraceptive pills truly affect women’s health, despite the fact that women users of contraceptive pills around the world number at around 100 million (some males on hormone therapy also use them). She also shared that the current scientific base regarding the effect of contraceptive pills on depression and quality of life is very limited. Due to this, the professor thinks that there is a great need for studies wherein the use of oral contraceptives is compared to placebos to ascertain what other effects it may have on women’s health and fertility.

In light of the above, professor Lindén Hirschberg led a study together with the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics associate professor Niklas Zethraeus, Stockholm School of Economics’ Anna Dreber Almenberg, and the University of Zürich Eva Ranehill to gather necessary data. The research team gathered their study’s data from a group of 340 healthy women belonging to the 18 to 35 years old age group. The women were treated randomly for over 3 months with placebos (pills that have no effect) or contraceptive pills that contain a combination of levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol, the most common form of combined OCP in the world and in Sweden. The lead researchers and the women were kept unaware as to which treatment was given to each woman.

Findings Could Mean More

Women who were given OCPs estimated that their quality of life is lower than women who were treated with placebos. It appears that the contraceptives negatively affected both the general quality of life and aspects of it such as the women’s well-being and mood. It is to be noted that no marked increase in depressive symptoms was seen.

The researchers emphasize that caution must be applied to the interpretation of the study’s results since changes observed were relatively small. Despite this, they also stated that the negative effect of the use of OCPs in individual women may be of clinical importance.

Clinical Application

Niklas Zethraeus stated that the negative effect shared by some women may be a contributing factor to the irregular use or low compliance of use of OCPs in some women. Zethraeus further added that these findings should be taken into consideration when prescribing various forms of contraceptives and specific OCPs.

It is to be noted that the findings of the study are only applicable to the specific OCP combination of ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel – the most common OCP combination prescribed in most countries due to a relatively lower risk of physiological combinations among other OCPs. Other OCP combinations have a different risk profile and possible side effects.

Sperm Swimming Conditions in the Uterus Sways Huge Role in Fertility

We’ve been taught that conception hinges on the ability of the sperm to reach and fertilize an egg, but a recent study conducted by researchers at the Washington State University says that the uterus may be playing a bigger role all along.

Fertility - Fertilization ProcessAn Insightful Breakthrough

In a study conducted on female mice, researchers found out that the uterus of the female mice is able to alter and break down semen into a less gel-like and more watery consistency, making it a more favorable environment for sperm to swim faster and easier.

The results of this study indicate that there is more interaction between the female reproductive tract and semen than previously thought. This data is expected to change how fertility treatments are planned and implemented in the future.

It is to be noted that prior to the findings of this research coming to light, scientists previously thought that enzymes from the prostate gland are what’s responsible for breaking down semen.

The study was initiated when Wipawee Winuthayanon, an assistant professor at the Washington State University’s School of Molecular Biosciences reported in the journal PLOS Genetics that the prostate gland enzyme that breaks down semen is also produced by female mice when induced with the use of estrogen. In addition to this, researchers also observed that semen failed to liquefy in the uterus of female mice that lacked the gene to produce the enzyme.

Fertility EvaluationReal Evidence at Last

WSU researchers claimed that the observations documented in their study provided the first real evidence that the female reproductive tract and semen interact in a positive way to impact fertility. Their research highlights the relative roles of secretions produced from both the male and female reproductive tracts that impact the physical alteration that semen has to undergo to facilitate the sperm swimming up to meet and fertilize an egg.

Exciting Possibilities

Researchers stated that the information in the study will advance research on sperm liquefaction inside the female reproductive tract, an area of study that needs further exploration. They said that further advancements could lead to the development of tools used to diagnose unexplained cases of infertility and further innovation in non-invasive contraception technologies.

The importance of the data garnered from the study supports the fact that for the sperm to reach the egg in a mammalian anatomy, it should be as efficient as possible in traveling to the egg. In other words, a sperm that is swimming in a less viscous liquid will be able to swim faster and easier because of lesser resistance as compared to it swimming in a thick fluid. Finding out that the female and male reproductive systems are aiding each other to make the sperm’s path as easy as possible for fertilization to occur is, indeed, a breakthrough.

The study was performed by Shuai Li, WSU postdoctoral research associate, Marleny Garcia, WSU honors student, and Rachel L. Gewiss, WSU research assistant.

Do Antidepressants Lead to Miscarriages or Autism?

According to current research, certain antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should only be prescribed for serious mental health conditions. Depression is more than simply feeling down in the dumps. It is a serious mental health issue, which involves the brain. These feelings often interfere with daily routines and can be mild to severe. canstockphoto45542488According to the World Health Organization, major depression affects 15.7 million adults in the United States, which is approximately 6.5%.

In the past 20 years, use of antidepressants has increased by 400%, and they are the most commonly used medications for people ages 18-44 years, which is the childbearing years for women. In addition, women in their late 30s and early 40s are more likely to experience infertility.

SSRI’s and Increased Risk for Miscarriage

Elevated risk for miscarriage, early delivery, infant health complications, and autism are associated with SSRIs, according to a study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Infertility and depression are two complex conditions that often go hand in hand. Lead research Alice Domar and colleagues conducted a large review of studies involving women with depression who took SSRIs while pregnant.

Three main findings stood out in the review of studies. First, there was concerning, clear evidence that SSRI during pregnancy was associated with risk of miscarriage. Women taking these drugs have worse pregnancy outcomes. Second, there was no proof of benefit or evidence that these medications lead to better outcomes for babies and moms. Finally, the researchers concluded that patients, obstetrics physicians, and the general public should be fully aware of these research findings.

Miscarriage Risk Statistics

Overall, risks for miscarriage are:

  • A 75% increased risk associated with Paxil, a commonly prescribed SSRI.
  • A 68% increased risk women using any antidepressant compared to women who do not use antidepressants.
  • A 61% increased risk for use of any SSRI antidepressant.
  • A 19% increased risk for women with a history of depression.

SSRIs and Autism

In a new study from the University of Montreal, researchers found that women taking antidepressants in the last trimester had an 87% increased risk for delivering a child who will be later diagnosed with autism. Additionally, taking SSRIs increased the canstockphoto45750520risk of the diagnosis. Around 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC, and this rate has continued to increase over the last three decades. Additionally, in the U.S., around 4.5% of women take an antidepressant during pregnancy.

In another study at John Hopkins University, researchers Berard and associates found that boys with autism were 3 times more likely to have been exposed to SSRIs during the pregnancy than girls. In a 2014 meta-analysis of studies, these researchers also found an increased risk for autism when children were exposed to SSRI antidepressants in utero.

Women should consult with their doctors before immediately stopping antidepressants, according to experts. Dr. King of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center emphasizes that many studies show a genetic overlap in women who have depression and children with autism. It appears that people who have a family history of depression also have an increased risk for delivering a child who will be diagnosed with autism.

King also believes these studies do not provide a definitive answer as to how or why antidepressants increase the risk for child autism. The increased risk of autism translates into one additional child born with the disorder for every 200 mothers who continue their SSRI medications during pregnancy.

Your Fertility Diet & Conceiving

                  Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular intercourse (at least twice a week). In the United States, 10.9% of women aged 15-44 have impaired fertility. There are many states that offer minimal or no insurance coverage for fertility treatments, this can be an expensive ordeal. Many turn to claims that supplements, complementary medicine and other measures to aid them. There have also been discussions on how diet and nutrition can aid fertility.canstockphoto45557864

                  It was found that patients who are overweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) > 35kg/m2) or underweight (BMI<19kg/m2) took a longer time to conceive compared to women who are in the normal weight range (19-35kg/m2). It is then recommended that women who are overweight or obese to lose weight and women who are underweight to gain weight to reach the normal weight range so fertility can be improved. Women with higher BMI who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) also have less successful pregnancy rates when compared to those in the normal range. Although obesity does not affect men and the conception rates for their partners, it was found that the rates of having a live birth (a baby that is alive at delivery) is lower compared to couples with male partners of normal BMI.

                  The optimal diet for fertility is still mostly unknown but dietary modifications have been shown to improve infertility that is caused by ovulation problems. The consumption of chicken or turkey was associated with a higher rate of infertility due to ovulatory issues while the consumption of processed meats and fish was not associated with a greater rate of infertility. The intake of foods rich in vegetable protein showed a decreased risk of ovulatory disorder but it was not significant enough to be recommended to all patients.

                  Although there is limited evidence, current data showed that a high fertility diet consists of:

  1. Avoid trans-fat: this is a type of fat that clogs arteries and threatens fertility.
  2. Greater intake of monounsaturated fat: it helps improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reduce inflammation, both are good for fertility. Take more vegetable oil, nuts, seeds and cold water fish such as salmon and sardines.canstockphoto45942965
  3. Turn to vegerable protein: replacing meat with plant based protein such as soybeans, tofu, beans, peas or nuts can help improve fertility.
  4. Increased consumption of high-fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates: choose slow digesting carbohydrates that are rich in fiber such as whole grains, and vegetables. This improves fertility by controlling blood sugar and insulin levels.
  5. Intake of high-fat dairy products: whole milk instead of skim milk was found to improve fertility. Choose a small dish of ice cream of full fat yoghurt every day.
  6. High non-heme iron intake which are mostly plant based: this can be obtained from whole-grain cereals, spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets.
  7. Taking extra folic acid: helps with nutrition for a healthy pregnancy.
  8. Hydration: water is the best for hydration. Coffee and tea can be consumed in moderation. Sugared sodas should be avoided.

References:

  • Chavarro JE, Willett WC, Skerrett PJ. Follow the fertility diet? Harvard Mental Health Letter. Harvard Health Publications. http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/follow-fertility-diet. Accessed 2/1/2017.
  • Collins GG, Rossi BV. The impact of lifestyle modifications, diet, and vitamin supplementation on natural fertility. Fertility Research and Practice. 2015;1:11.

 

Can Exercise Help Increase Your Chances of Successful Fertility?

canstockphoto45472561

                  In most cases, when a woman is planning a pregnancy, there is a tendency to make changes in her lifestyle in hopes of conceiving, having a healthy pregnancy and a successful delivery. Lifestyle changes are often made and habits that do not benefit the pregnancy are sacrificed, such as smoking, use of recreational drugs and drinking alcohol. Some go as far as stopping the intake of caffeine. Other lifestyle changes include a better diet; eating more fruits and vegetables and having a balanced meal. These are all beneficial for the general health of the mother-to-be, but what about exercise?

                  Studies have found that moderate and regular exercise is beneficial for fertility and helps increase the pregnancy rate for those who are going through assisted reproductive technology (going through treatment for fertility or conception). Exercise was shown to reduce the risk of infertility due to ovulation (release of eggs) problems. Even for obese patients (which is a risk factor for infertility) who exercise regularly, they had better chances of pregnancy compared to those who are sedentary.

                  There is also evidence that low to moderate exercise increases the rates of implantation (process where the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus/womb to continue growing into a baby) and live birth rates (baby is alive at birth). The recommended exercise in the study is one hour of exercise three times per week.

                  Although exercise has been proven to help with fertility, high intensity exercises were found to reduce fertility (reduced implantation, reduced live birth rates) and increased pregnancy loss. Studies showed that vigorous exercise (exercising daily or to exhaustion) is associated with lower fertility rates. This is the same case with male patients. High intensity exercise was found to reduce male fertility.

                  Exercises that are found to be best for women trying to conceive are:

  1. Brisk walking: five times a week, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hourcanstockphoto45936679
  2. Yoga: 1 hour sessions, 2-3 times a week
  3. Dancing
  4. Zumba, aerobics: 2-3times a week
  5. Bicycle riding leisurely
  6. Light jogging
  7. Swimming

Exercises that should be avoided are:

  1. Core strength training such as core Pilates
  2. Exercising 7 days a week for more than 45 minute
  3. Running for many miles every day
  4. Extreme training exercises
  5. Exercises over an hour long

Evidence has shown that moderate exercise benefits fertility while high intensity and frequency exercises may reduce fertility. This should be recommended to men and women who are looking to increase chances of pregnancy. Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most or preferably all days. For individuals who are overweight or obese, achieving and maintaining a modest weight loss may improve fertility.

 

References: