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How Strength Training Affects Fertility

by Uneeb Khan

Fertility issues are common in today’s world. The number of couples and individuals with fertility problems is increasing rapidly. As per the World Health Organisation, the world has approximately 48 million couples and 186 million individuals with infertility, a type of inability to become a father or mother of a child. 

When both of you notice your effort to conceive a baby does not work, you visit the best fertility clinic in your local town/city. And at the clinic, a respective doctor helps you detect the issue and become parents. During the interaction, the doctor explains how lifestyle habits affect fertility. Your lifestyle includes a healthy diet, workouts, rest, weight & stress management, etc.   

Usually, light to moderate workout is beneficial. Based on current general and reproductive health status, doctors advise couples to avoid performing intensive exercises or workouts that include strength training. Here have a look at different aspects of strength training and its effect on fertility:

Exercising when trying to conceive 

In general, you can keep your workout regime going when you are trying to conceive if you were working out regularly earlier. However, you need to talk to your doctor if you want to start a new fitness training that you haven’t performed yet. 

Exercising is good for the overall health of your body and mind. Your doctor may ask you to keep it up while trying to get pregnant or having fertility treatments. Based on the intensity of your workouts like weightlifting and jumping, strength training or heavy weight lifting might affect your ability to conceive.  

How strength training is beneficial for you on your fertility journey

A regular practice of light to moderate exercises (usually around 5 hours a week) is the one that most doctors and health experts advise when it comes to maintaining overall wellness. In your fertility journey, you must maintain your health and fitness. Moderate workout with a healthy diet and stress management facilitates you to get pregnant. Here is more on why exercising moderately is crucial for you in your fertility journey:

  • Lower pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and eclampsia
  • Facilitate you keep your weight or BMI under control 
  • Improves bone strength and tone your body muscles 
  • Reduce your risk of anxiety, depression, and stress

Strength training is also beneficial for you while trying to conceive if you have been doing it for months/years. Here is more on the benefits of strength training:  

  • Enhance your body capacity to burn calories 
  • Promote more mobility and flexibility 
  • Improve your balance, which is crucial for you during pregnancy 
  • Build endurance and strength 
  • Reduce belly fat 

Weight training and your fertility/pregnancy 

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits of moderate workouts and strength training with weight lifting, you should think about its downside. Usually, weight lifting/training has no downside if you have been doing it for months/years and it is not new to you. However, it could be harmful to your fertility and pregnancy if your weight lifting duration and weights are higher. 

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It can affect your ability to conceive or carry your pregnancy if lifting weights has been your favourite workout. The primary concern related to weight lifting is your injury risk. You should opt for lifting lighter weight. It would be better for you to avoid weight lifting and focus on performing moderate exercises while trying to conceive or carrying a pregnancy. You should talk to your doctor in depth about the intensity of your workouts before you start working on your family expansion plan.  

What options you have rather than weight lifting and highly intensive workouts 

You have numerous options as alternatives to weight lifting or heavy exercises. Based on your choice and knowledge, you can include the following activities in your workout session:

  • Brisk walking 
  • Jogging/running 
  • Swimming 
  • Moderate yoga poses 
  • Gardening work 

When to stop performing workouts   

Based on your general as well as reproductive health status, your doctor may advise you on particular points in your fertility journey when you need to take a break or stop working out completely. 

Take away 

Regular moderate exercises or strength training is beneficial whether you are trying to conceive naturally/through ART or carrying a pregnancy. Your doctor will suggest to you what exercises you should do and when you need to take a complete break from it.

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