It doesn’t seem like an obvious connection, but exercise and fertility are closely linked.
It’s important to note that healthy, even vigorous levels of exercise don’t necessarily lead to fertility problems – millions of women exercise and play sport to an elite level without suffering any adverse effects.
But when it comes to over-exercising and pushing yourself to the extreme, that’s when your periods and your fertility can get into trouble. That’s why it’s crucial to know the risks and understand precisely what is happening to your body.
The problem arises in women who over-train without allowing their body to recover, or taking in enough food – resulting in a severe calorie deficit.
Your reproductive system is highly sensitive to energy deficits, and it is easier to fall into a calorie shortage than you might think.
Period problems are common in sporty women, with some studies estimating that up to 60% of exercising women experience some form of menstrual disturbance.
Another study found that it is not the strain of exercise that causes the irregularities, but the body’s attempt to conserve energy by reducing the production of estrogen and progesterone.
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