, EXERCISE, AND INFERTILITY
Jeffrey A. Keenan, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Associate Professor, Director, Division of Reproductive
Endocrinology & Infertility, Department of Obstetrics
University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville
overweight is a common problem among all men and women,
not just those hoping to conceive. Eating a healthy
diet and obtaining regular exercise can be a big part
of helping you achieve your goals, whether they are
physical fitness, weight loss, or hormonal/fertility
improvement. Although persons who modify their diet
and begin regular exercise programs generally lose weight,
even in the absence of any weight loss, a regular exercise
program will significantly improve a woman's hormones,
and cardiovascular health There are beneficial changes
to your heart as well as your blood sugar and insulin
levels, and also to your reproductive hormones. Many
women who are not ovulating may begin ovulating.
it may be true that some people with a weight a problem
"don't eat much at all", the fact is that
they still have excessive food intake compared to what
their bodies require. Remember that everyone's metabolism
and calorie usage differs. Unfortunately, many individuals
are overweight because they burn and require very few
calories compared to an average person.
the end, it is a very simple formula that no one can
deviate from. If you consume more calories than you
burn, you will gain weight. If you burn more calories
than you consume, you will lose weight. Achieving an
"ideal" body weight is not necessary! Research
has shown that significant hormonal improvements occur
with as little as 8 - 10% body weight loss. There are
a few general points to be made regarding diet and eating
skip breakfast. If you skip breakfast, this will prolong
your body's "fasting mode" and decrease
your calorie usage.
water instead of other options. Diet drinks are also
okay, but some researchers think these may stimulate
a water bottle with you and try to drink water frequently
throughout the day, especially when you are hungry.
Distention of the stomach, although brief, can help
decrease your appetite.
eat after supper, there is no way to utilize these
calories before you go to bed.
The best option for "dieting", and the one
that needs to be made a regular part of your life
at some point, is simply what can be termed 'sensible
your physician know if you would like to have a formal
consultation with a dietitian who can provide you with
a personalized diet plan. Be aware that there may be
some fees involved with this as insurance does not always
cover dietary services. Finally, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED!
While everyone CAN achieve weight loss, you may be dealing
with issues or circumstances that make this goal exceptionally
difficult at this time. Sometimes, these issues are
deeply rooted, and psychological counseling can be extremely
helpful. Try to be honest with yourself about these
problems, and get help if you even think you may need
it. In the end, however, being overweight does not make
you a 'bad' person, or any less wonderful than anyone
else! Usually, your physician can make adjustments to
your treatment that will still allow you to have an
excellent chance to conceive. If you simply can't lose
weight right now, feel good about yourself anyway, and
press on with treatment.