Copious amounts of strenuous exercise can make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant. This type of stress on the body, especially when coupled with low body fat or caloric restriction, can delay or stop ovulation and menstruation. Scientific studies also suggest that women are more prone to muscle injury during ovulation. While the average exercise program isn't strenuous enough to affect the fertility cycle, athletes and those who suddenly intensify their programs may be at risk for problems.
Stay hydrated. At the time of ovulation, your body produces a special kind of fluid called egg white cervical mucous. This mucous, according to TheLaborofLove.com, helps protect sperm and guide it toward the egg. Physical activity rapidly uses up your body's fluids. If these fluids aren't replaced and dehydration sets in, this mucous can thin out or dry up and contribute to infertility. Be sure to drink fluids before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
Increase the intensity of your workouts slowly and incrementally. It's not uncommon for women who increase their exercise regimens too much, too fast to experience changes to their menstrual cycles, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocriology and Metabolism. This condition is called exercised induced amenorhhea. It's accompanied by a lack of ovulation and menstruation. Ease into a tougher routine to protect your fertility and don't push yourself relentlessly.
Eat enough calories. There's a high correlation between low body fat, restricted calories and absent ovulation or menstruation, according to India Parenting. This is especially true of marathon runners, who often push themselves hard in preparation for a race. If you increase your physical activity, don't decrease your caloric intake. In extreme training situations, increase your calories to protect your fertility cycle and to maintain good health in general.
Consider taking a break from training or performing less strenuous exercises during ovulation. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edward M. Wojtys conducted a test to determine if women were more prone to muscle injury during ovulation. His results indicated that women suffered anterior cruciate ligament injuries more often than men and sustained them during ovulation. One theory, according to Wojtys, is that increased estrogen causes decreased collagen production. Collagen is a vital part of connective tissue and helps muscles repair themselves.
Begin building your training routine at the start of your menstrual cycle so that the most strenuous exercises occur prior to menstruation if you're concerned about ACL injury. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina indicated that in terms of fat loss, intensity of training was not related to menstrual cycle timing. However, the American Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed several studies about injury and the menstrual cycle and found that ACL injuries are more likely to occur during the first half of the menstrual cycle, up to and including ovulation.