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Moderate Physical Activity Can Improve Fertility in Women

Fertility up in lean, overweight, obese; but vigorous activity can delay pregnancy in lean women

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate physical activity (PA) may improve fertility in all women, regardless of their weight, according to research published online March 16 in Fertility and Sterility.

In an effort to determine whether there is an association between leisure-time PA and a woman's fecundity, Lauren A. Wise, Sc.D., of the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues conducted an Internet-based observational study involving 3,628 Danish women aged 18 to 40 who were planning a pregnancy.

In all but overweight and obese women (body mass index [BMI], ≥25 kg/m²), the researchers found that time to pregnancy increased in a dose-response manner with increasing vigorous physical activity. However, moderate physical activity improved fecundity for all women, regardless of their BMI.

"Moderate PA was associated with a small increase in fecundability regardless of BMI," the authors write. "These findings indicate that PA of any type might improve fertility among overweight and obese women, a subgroup at higher risk of infertility. Lean women who substitute vigorous PA with moderate PA may also improve their fertility."

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