Exercise around the time of ovulation, conception and implantation

My web site is here to provide you with exercise advice, tips and interesting pregnancy/postnatal interesting factoids. But sometimes I will tackle the tricky stuff. There is such conflicting advice about exercise around the time of ovulation, conception and implantation that I am going to try and give you a useful, sensible answer.

If you have never had any problems getting pregnant then you might not know that much about the actual processes involved in conception and implantation inside the body. If, on the other hand you are putting a lot of effort into getting pregnant, for example BBT charting, ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), IVF, special diets or drugs or anything else then you will want to make sure that exercise is not going to have any kind of negative impact on these delicate hormonal processes.

My advice is not based on formal research (you will see from my post about early miscarriage there is no conclusive evidence around this), it is based around making sure that in your head you know that you have given yourself the best possible chance of having a viable pregnancy. It is what I would do myself and tell my friends to do.

Let’s take it one step at a time:

  • During your period (AF) you might not feel like exercise, but try and keep up your regular routine, it may help!
  • Between AF and ovulation you can do all your regular routines, go a bit mad, do high intensity stuff and really push yourself. Really enjoy it, mix it up and get stuck in!
  • Around the time of ovulation/conception you may want to take it down a notch. Take out all the really mad stuff, but keep it regular (ideally 3-5 times a week for 30 mins+, mix of CV and resistance). Try lower impact options and avoid working yourself beyond a point where you can still hold a conversation mid workout. If you are a regular exerciser and you stop completely it will probably make you miserable (and it might take a while to get pregnant!) so try to carry on.
  • Between conception and implantation continue in the same vein. Exercise, even jumping and jogging, will not make the egg fall out, if it is going to implant it will so don’t get too anxious!  (and if it doesn’t it is not down to you). Just continue to be a bit wary around doing anything too vigorous, working at high-maximal intensities. Regular vigorous exercise may have an impact on female hormones (we know that some athletes stop having periods). So- keep it moderate and regular.

Fingers crossed this is the cycle for you. If not then have a treat (maybe a big coffee or glass of wine if you have been off it) and a good, full on workout to feel a little bit better. If you do get pregnant please keep up the exercise, don’t stress too much about miscarriage and check out my book for exercises designed to be safe for each trimester.

I know trying for a baby is a difficult time and often like  a roller coaster, but try to keep healthy, fit and positive x

Want a baby? Get eating avocados!

New research indicates a diet containing lots of monounsaturated fat – found in avocados, olive oil, as well as peanuts, almonds and cashews – can as much as triple the chance of success in women resorting to fertility treatment to conceive. Specialists believe such a diet could help the majority of women wanting to get pregnant naturally as well.

By contrast eating lots of saturated fat, found in dairy products and red meat, appears to damage women’s fertility. High saturated fat intake has already been linked to lower sperm counts.

I think…..

It is great to hear that eating these foods can have such a positive impact on fertility, although more research is needed. I would suggest that we all try to eat more of these foods anyway!! The foods outlined in the study should be an essential part of good diet and have a huge variety of health benefits. Just remember they are great for you, but are still fats and can therefore be high calorie. Ditch the junk and eat as part of a balanced diet (maybe work in a few extra if you are trying for a baby – salmon and avocado salad all round!!)

Trying to concieve? Get to a healthy weight

Obese women who are trying to conceive should try dieting before immediately turning to IVF treatment as women who lost weight were three times more likely to fall pregnant, a study has found. You can read more in this article from the telegraph

This is only a small study, but the message is clear. Get to a healthy weight, eat well and take regular exercise and you are much more likely to get pregnant. You body needs to be in tip-top condition if it is going to nurture your baby for nine months and being obese means that you are going to be pre-disposed to medical problems for you and your growing baby. Think of pregnancy as a trigger event to change your life in a positive way. It is a challenge, but well worth it!