Exercises are one of the essential ways of staying healthy, and it would be surprised to many to hear that extensive exercising such as that by female athletes can make it difficult to conceive. Female athletes are more like to have this problem yet manywomen admire them for their physical fitness and would not expect them to have health challenges.


  • Higher levels of vigorous work out among normal-weight women might make it harder to conceive leading to delays in getting pregnant
  • Any type of exercise improves fertility among overweight women and moderate exercise
  • Moderate exercise leads to getting pregnant quickly among all women
  • Only extremely vigorous exercise such as running, gymnastics, swimming or fast cycling for over five hours a week seems to delay fertility in the normal weight women.


These are the issues that make it difficult for women of normal weight to get pregnant if they engage in extensive exercises.

1. Reduced fat cellsWhen preparing to get pregnant or compete in athletics, the body requires more fat stores to be in an optimal range. This might be the reason when lean women who engage in vigorous exercise too much take longer to conceive. About five hours of exercising a week are too much intense exercise should only take four minutes two to three times a week. This moment of work out for a female athlete is too short. They must work out extremely hard and for a longer time to improve endurance and be at the top shape to compete. Running on a treadmill for just an hour five days of the week makes it harder to conceive yet some athletes run for more than this period.

3. Energy deficitAn energy deficit occurs when the energy intake does not meet the requirements .metabolism of the stored energy in the form of body fat, glycogen and protein accounts for the deficit. The reproduction system is extremely sensitive to energy deficit, and it might not perform optimally to allow conception. It might be a good reason because the body attempts to conserve energy by shutting down some systems like the reproduction.

Reaction to energy deficit works like the way female bodies were acting during ancient age during a famine. The reproductive system would turn off after walking for long to gather bare minimum calories. The turning helped in survival by preventing reproduction until the body accesses adequate uninterrupted energy as it indicates there are enough resources for feeding children.

Exercises among women have much benefits to overall health, well-being and competition fitness for professional athletes. The development of an energy deficiency because of inadequate energy intake to compensate for the exerciseenergy expenditure and this might lead to menstrual dysfunction. It is now clear that stress of the exercise does not cause reproductive dysfunction but an attempt of conserving energy. Metabolic adaptations reacting to an energy deficiency alter a normal production and reproduction hormones at all the levels of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis.

Estrogen and progesterone concentrations decline as a reaction to energy deficiency leading to a spectrum of exercise associated with menstrual disturbance (EAMD). A spectrum of EAMD includes:

  • Severe menstrual disturbances
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Amenorrhea

You can detect EAMD spectrum by lack of menses for months, at least three. Long, inconsistent cycles of 36-90 days are also a sign of EAMD.

4. Luteal phase dysfunction

A regular luteal phase is 12 to 14 days, but an energy deficit will reduce it. A woman will have regular ovulatory menstrual cycle although the luteal phase will be 10 or fewer days. Short lutealphases often accompany prolonged follicular phases. Someone can have a 28-day cycle with 21-day follicular phase and a luteal phase of 7 days. Luteal phase defects diminish the chances of conceiving.

Female athletes should engage in short engage in short bursts of strenuous exercises, have appropriate intervals and consume enough calories to prevent energy deficit if that want to avoid having trouble getting pregnant.

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