Is Your Workout Affecting Your Fertility?
There's a lot of information out there about the connection between fertility and exercise—too bad so much of it is incorrect. Two fertility experts help us separate fact from fiction.
Is swimming risky for women who are trying to conceive?The little buggers that cause bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal infection, can sometimes infect the uterus and fallopian tubes, and that can be a big problem for women who are trying to conceive. But contrary to popular belief, you can't get BV from swimming pools, according to the Centers for Disease Control (on the other hand, BV has been linked to douching and sex with multiple partners). It's pretty difficult for water to enter the vagina, says Jeffrey Steinberg, MD, the director of the Fertility Institutes in Los Angeles. Steinberg and other experts actually recommend getting in the water—swimming is a great exercise for women who are hoping to conceive or are already pregnant because it gives you a killer cardio workout with virtually no joint-stressing impact.
If you fall hard while skiing, can the impact crush your ovaries?It's highly unlikely, says Steven T. Nakajima, MD, chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Unless your fall is so severe that it breaks your pelvis, your ovaries should be safe. The pelvis is like a roll cage that does an impressive job of protecting the female reproductive organs from impact, he says. It's fine for most women to hit the slopes while trying to conceive naturally (women undergoing fertility treatments should check with their doctor). Also remember that many OBs recommend against skiing while pregnant, because a fall could cause the placenta could tear away from the uterine wall.
Next: The connection between running and ovulating
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.