Studies suggest that athletic and physically active women do struggle getting pregnant and getting help for infertility because of limited awareness about treatment options, feelings of isolation, financial barriers to getting professional help, feeling abnormal compared to perceived cultural norms, and the expectation that athletic women should be strong enough to handle these problems on their own.
Fitness related infertility may be broadly defined as the inability of athletic or otherwise intensely physically-active women to get pregnant after trying for at least one year without using any birth control. As women are increasingly involved in competitive sports or rigorous recreational activities, being too fit can hurt pregnancy chances, according to fertility specialists.
For most women, being “too fit” is no concern at all. But there is some evidence that professional athletes, long distance and other endurance athletes, and bodybuilders could have some trouble getting pregnant. These women can indeed be “too fit to get pregnant”. A study conducted by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that up to 25% of all female High School athletes were not menstruating. In comparison, only two to five percent of the general population had the same problem. Amenorrhea, the medical term for a lack of menstruation, can be the result of both intense physical training and restricted calorie intake. Tennis player Gigi Fernandez is a top athlete who was unable to conceive a baby – something that was totally unexpected to her. “As an athlete, you have this attitude, ‘I can do anything with my body. That’s how you think. So your biological clock is ticking, but you’re in denial,” she confessed.
In Western countries, infertility affects an estimated 15% of the female population. While some women are trying to conceive using alternative methods like IVF, others prefer to optimize the chances of getting pregnant naturally. Trying to get pregnant naturally may be very important, since many couples and individuals who are diagnosed with infertility may be able to get pregnant without treatment (and hence should be defined as “subfertile” rather than “infertile”).
When trying to get pregnant naturally, the most important factor is to understand the menstrual cycle and the timing of ovulation, which leads to the optimum chances of getting impregnated. Usually, ovulation occurs around the fourteenth day, and hence, to get pregnant naturally, a couple should have as much sexual intercourse as possible between the twelfth and the fifteenth day. Different women have slightly varying menstrual cycles. Hence, to improve the chances of becoming pregnant, it is imperative to study one’s periods, and calculate exactly when one ovulates.
To check for the right timings of ovulation, an athletic or physically-active woman can do one, or many, of the following things:
. Keep a calendar. Keeping a calendar to chart the days is an easy and effective method to determine the right time to have sexual intercourse.
. Keep a check on vaginal fluids. Mucus discharge from the vagina usually becomes heavier, thinner, clearer and stretchy during ovulation when compared to the usual times.
. Feel the inside of the vagina. During ovulation, the cervix is softer and slightly more open than usual.
. Keep tabs on any sharp pain in the abdomen. Sharp pains in the abdomen, or some slight spotting, may be indicative of ovulation.
. Stay aware of other physical conditions, including headaches, bloating, breast tenderness and pain, may be signs of ovulation.
Having checked for ovulation, there are some other things that an individual can do to increase the chances of getting pregnant naturally. These include lying still for a while after having sexual intercourse, avoiding the bathroom for about thirty minutes after having sexual intercourse, and most importantly, figuring out how many times one should have sexual intercourse.
Men often neglect their own part to play in this whole scenario. The sperms need to be of the correct constitution, correct shape and correct motility too, or else, however fertile the women may be, impregnation does not occur naturally. A way of ensuring that the sperms are undamaged is by wearing boxers instead of briefs. Boxers may help in keeping the testicles from overheating and damaging sperms.
For both women and men, the anatomical and hormonal factors are not the only ones to be monitored and corrected. In most cases, failure to conceive may result from an improper diet, undue stress, the use of drugs like alcohol and nicotine, and even environmental factors such as proximity to harmful doses of pesticides. Abstinence from such factors goes a long way in ensuring a pregnancy.
One should always keep in mind that the holistic approach to solving a problem is the optimal way to tackle infertility. Getting regular health checkups, taking supplements to combat existing problem, exercising and stress reduction techniques are only part of the holistic solution to infertility which considers the problem as part of a whole unlike the conventional approach which tackles a specific body organ in its attempt to heal. The holistic approach is not only a surefire way to increase your chances of conception it also guarantees a safe and healthy pregnancy.
This article is based, in part, on the book, “Pregnancy Miracle” by Lisa Olson. Lisa is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated her life to creating the ultimate pregnancy solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root of infertility, help you get pregnant quickly and naturally and dramatically improve the overall quality of your life, without the use prescription medication and without any surgical procedures. Learn more by visiting her website HERE now.