Too fit for fertility?

Could your running programme be reducing your chances of pregnancy?

1 to 20 of 36 messages
13/07/2012 at 11:48

I am writing a feature about the possibility that extreme exercise could compromise fertility - does anyone have any experience of this or views on it? I've been told that a fat percentage of 22% is the minimum for conception so would love to hear from women who have consciously increased their body weight/composition or reduced their running in order to get pregnant.

kittenkat    pirate
13/07/2012 at 11:58

I only ovulate when I am at a low weight, I don't ovulate at what people would call a normal weight. A doctor once said to me that he's looking into the very few women who this happens to, it's probably to keep the human race going in times of famine.

seren nos    pirate
13/07/2012 at 12:38

You rarely see elite athletes/sportswomen stop because they are pregnant...........you usually see them stop being elite athletes first so that they can get their bodies healthy enough to conceive and carry a child.....

 

kittenkat    pirate
13/07/2012 at 12:46

That's suggesting that their bodies are unhealthy seren?

13/07/2012 at 12:48

I'd be really interested to chat with someone who had cut back on their running in order to boost their chances of getting pregnant (I've talked to experts who say sometimes the stress of high level competition and low body fat make conception tricky - it's a fine balance)

13/07/2012 at 12:51

I beat Paula Radcliffe in a 10k when she already had a bun in the oven.  I don't think that answers your questions though. 

Edited: 13/07/2012 at 12:51
13/07/2012 at 12:54

Well done Phil! Very pleased for you - but, er, no!!

 

13/07/2012 at 12:57
" You rarely see top sportswomen stop to get pregnant" thats is true I've never seen an athlete just stop to get pregnant. Would make good TV though.
seren nos    pirate
13/07/2012 at 13:04

stop competing SR..........0

yes KK........i believe that whilst those at the the top of the sports may be fit they are not healthy.......to put your body to the extremes needed nowadays to compete I think they are storing up many long term problems......from the extreme training and the fact that theyy take their weight lower than what is natural for them individually.......

Philpub.....i bet she would have still beaten me.........

 

kittenkat    pirate
13/07/2012 at 13:06
seren nos wrote (see)

stop competing SR..........0

yes KK........i believe that whilst those at the the top of the sports may be fit they are not healthy.......to put your body to the extremes needed nowadays to compete I think they are storing up many long term problems......from the extreme training and the fact that theyy take their weight lower than what is natural for them individually.......

Philpub.....i bet she would have still beaten me.........

 

I'm interested, what sort of problems?

13/07/2012 at 13:14
seren nos wrote (see)

 

Philpub.....i bet she would have still beaten me.........

 

46 minutes at 6 months gone, if I remember rightly. 

13/07/2012 at 13:15
I think it should be compulsory to name your sources otherwise it looks like you are plucking "facts" from thin air
13/07/2012 at 13:18
I found an old photo of me and Paula this week. 2 days before we ran our first marathon. The rest is history. Me and Paula now have three lovely children.
13/07/2012 at 13:20
louise atkinson 4 wrote (see)

I've been told that a fat percentage of 22% is the minimum for conception.... 

That sounds like something a guy would say when he's forgotten his contraceptives.

13/07/2012 at 13:30
A quick google- I found them saying a minimum of 13% to 17% with no hard or fast rules. This sounds less specific and more realistic to me. A cut off of 22%? Nah
Edited: 13/07/2012 at 13:31
13/07/2012 at 13:39
Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
I think it should be compulsory to name your sources otherwise it looks like you are plucking "facts" from thin air

Bollocks! 

Whaddya know - it's detailed on her Po10 profile.  ("Nike Run London, 2006") A bit quicker than I remember - 43:45.  I ran 40:15 but I CNBA trying to work out whether any full result listings still exist. 

13/07/2012 at 13:51
Yes obviously I didn't mean your result Phil. I checked out your Beachy Head 2nd place a long time ago so I know you are good enough to beat Paula on a (very) off day.
13/07/2012 at 14:53
Tenjiso wrote (see)
louise atkinson 4 wrote (see)

I've been told that a fat percentage of 22% is the minimum for conception.... 

That sounds like something a guy would say when he's forgotten his contraceptives.

Funny that crossed my mind too! I like the way you think.

13/07/2012 at 16:11

I don't think there's any minimum body fat percentage as such, but certainly low body fat can cause various physiological and biochemical conditions that make conception less likely. 

Fitness and 'health' aren't necessarily the same thing. Being in tip-top condition for competing as an athlete doesn't mean that your body is in ideal condition for pregnancy.

When you think about elite female athletes, particularly runners, they tend to have a particular phenotype - thin with a low body fat. For an awful lot of people this is achieved with high levels of training and close attention to diet, often with energy restriction to maintain low body fat. Such behaviour can result in the female athlete triad - disordered eating, menstrual disruption and poor bone health. In the long term this can adversely affect fertility, as well as cause problems such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Not to mention the possible psychological issues around food and body image. 

This is an interesting topic

kittenkat    pirate
13/07/2012 at 16:29
sarah the bookworm wrote (see)

I don't think there's any minimum body fat percentage as such, but certainly low body fat can cause various physiological and biochemical conditions that make conception less likely. 

Fitness and 'health' aren't necessarily the same thing. Being in tip-top condition for competing as an athlete doesn't mean that your body is in ideal condition for pregnancy.

When you think about elite female athletes, particularly runners, they tend to have a particular phenotype - thin with a low body fat. For an awful lot of people this is achieved with high levels of training and close attention to diet, often with energy restriction to maintain low body fat. Such behaviour can result in the female athlete triad - disordered eating, menstrual disruption and poor bone health. In the long term this can adversely affect fertility, as well as cause problems such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Not to mention the possible psychological issues around food and body image. 

This is an interesting topic

It is an interesting topic, I've met Jo Pavey on a couple of occasions as she's local, there is nothing about her that would suggest that she was anything other than a natural slight build, like I am. I also look at the top female runners in my club and we're all naturally slight.

Ok, I don't know what goes on in individual's lives but I've always thought that you can tell from bone structure whether someone is underweight for their body as opposed to being naturally slight.

I took clomid to conceive because I had secondary ahmmenhorea, this was hormonal and not about weight. So I was then on the pill for years when i didn't want kids and to stabilise my periods (artificially create them), it was when I came off the pill that I discovered that the less I weighed the more natural periods I had. After using clomid to conceive both girls, I started having regular periods, I think 2 pregnancies had finally kick started my own hormones. I became pregnant naturally after my kids but lost the 3rd in a miscarriage.

I'm not willing to do this for the purposes of curiosity but I bet that if I put on a couple of stone my periods would stop.

I know I'm a freak

1 to 20 of 36 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW Forums