Too fit for fertility?

Could your running programme be reducing your chances of pregnancy?

1 to 20 of 29 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.

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.....

 

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.........

 

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

13/07/2012 at 17:09

ive read various info on what weight/fat ratio/percentage a woman ceases to menstruate...i agree with STBW...its interesting . STBW , KK, and mysel are all fairly slight in build from what ive read yet we are probably 3 different case scenarios.. i personally notice a difference when training more heavily..they cease altogether and my BMI is 17 so quite low..when i was above 7st they were regular...so there is maybe some pattern...

13/07/2012 at 17:39

im 5ft 2 KK, anf 6st5..im petite and like you very little bodyfat..i wouldnt say im skinny though..

13/07/2012 at 18:04

me too (gymnast) and ballet dancer

13/07/2012 at 19:33

I'm small and compact (a 5ft munchkin), but would be utterly useless at gymnastics as I have no coordination whatsoever

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