A new study shows that exercise improves IVF success rates by 95%!
It is often said that if exercise was a drug it would be hailed as a miracle pill and everyone would take it.
The reason for this is that it has been shown to decrease our risk of developing numerous serious conditions like heart disease and cancer and improves health and quality of life generally.
As exercise can improve our health in so many ways it is reasonable to think that it would also have a positive effect on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
I will do a more detailed post on this in the future but for now let’s have a quick look at the new study.
IVF and Exercise: the Study
Researchers in China carried out a “meta-analysis” (a review of a collection of previous studies) to find out whether or not exercise improves IVF success rates.
The review was the first to examine exercise and IVF. It covered 8 separate studies involving 3,683 couples undergoing IVF.
The results were remarkable. The researchers found that physically active women:
These results are hugely significant. To be able to increase success rates like this simply by exercising is incredible.
Anyone who is thinking about undergoing IVF and does not currently exercise at this level should seriously consider increasing their activity levels.
There is a note of caution to sound here: some studies have shown that vigorous exercise (exercise done at high intensity or excessive duration) can actually harm IVF success rates.
It is important not to go over the top.
Any exercise programme should only be commenced with your doctor’s consent and, given the potential benefits, it is well worth discussing the matter with him.
If you would like to read more about IVF and exercise the study was published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (Maternal physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles improves clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018; 16: 11).