When to see your GP about exercise and fertility

Talk to your GP if you want to have a baby but are concerned about exercise and the effects on your menstrual cycle or your fertility.

Exercise and IVF

IVF is a type of fertility treatment. Generally the exercise advice for those having IVF treatment is the same as that for those trying to conceive without treatment.

Physical activity at a moderate level is safe and healthy and has not been shown to increase infertility. If you are having IVF treatment because you have problems with ovulation and you exercise at an intense or vigorous level your consultant may suggest cutting down to a moderate level instead during your treatment.

Men and exercise

There is not enough evidence to show that lots of exercise causes male infertility. If your partner is concerned about fertility, he may be advised to do less exercise if he is extremely active but there are probably other factors that are more likely to be behind the problem.

It’s still important that your partner exercises regularly. Anyone who isn’t active is more likely to be overweight. In men, being overweight can affect the quality and quantity of their sperm.

You and your partner may both find it helpful to support each other to lead a healthier lifestyle as you prepare to have a baby together.

Find out more about men and pre-conception health.

Are you ready to conceive? Use our tool to find out.

Yes, Exercise Can Hurt Your Fertility. Here’s How to Exercise Safely.

There is a long history of sexist attempts to exclude women from athletic activities due to concerns about fertility. As recently as 2010, the ancient myth of the falling uterus was cited as a reason why ski jumping was “not appropriate for ladies.”

Needless to say, this idea is completely ridiculous. Women can run, jump, ski, bike, and swim without worrying about their vital organs falling into their spandex.

But women who are trying to conceive sometimes worry whether exercise could have an impact on fertility. We know those old myths about the falling uterus are sexist and false, but is there any truth to the idea that exercise could reduce your chances of conceiving?

It turns out, the answer is yes—exercise can have a profound negative impact on fertility if you’re not vigilant about eating enough. This post will explain how to exercise safely, and offer a few easy self-assessments you can do to get an idea whether your exercise routine is negatively impacting your cycle.

Wait, I Thought Exercise Was Healthy!

Let’s first get one thing out of the way: regular physical activity is beneficial for overall health and wellbeing. Exercise helps maintain healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, and just plain feels good. There does not seem to be anything intrinsic to exercise that leads to reduced fertility.

The problem arises for some women when there is an energy deficit—when you are burning more calories than you consume. But developing an energy deficit is much easier than many women realize.

Exercise & Energy Deficits

Your reproductive system is highly sensitive to energy deficit, and that’s a good thing. In times of famine, when our ancestors might have been walking many miles each day just to gather the bare minimum of calories, the ability to turn off the reproductive system probably helped our survival in the long run, allowing us to reproduce when we had enough resources to feed our children.

If you’re reading this post, you probably don’t worry about where your next meal is going to come from. So why should you even think about energy deficits? Well…are you a woman who maybe grew up steeped in messages about how your worth is in inverse proportion to your waist size? Have you ever tried to lose weight, cut out certain food groups, ignored your hunger signals, or increased your exercise without making a conscious effort to increase your calories? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you have experienced energy deficit.

Keep in mind that you can experience energy deficit even if you don’t have a super low body fat percentage. If your energy intake isn’t enough for your body to complete its basic functions, you are in energy deficit. If your BMI is 25 or lower, and you are trying to conceive, it may not be the best time to play around with energy deficit.*

If it’s surprising to hear that you can experience energy deficit even if you’re not underweight, you’re not alone. Most of us have a certain idea of what healthy looks like, and it involves a tight butt, nice delts, and certainly no cellulite or belly fat.

The thing is, just because someone looks healthy doesn’t mean they really are healthy. A healthy body is one that that allows you to have a healthy menstrual cycle. That may or may not look like the picture of health you have in mind for yourself.

How Big is This Problem?

Exercise related menstrual disturbances are common in women who exercise, with some studies estimating that up to 60 percent of exercising women experience some form of menstrual disturbance.

One study that compared the cycles of exercising and non-exercising women found that among exercising women, 25 percent of cycles were anovulatory cycles and 25 percent of cycles had short luteal phases. Only 48 percent of exercising women’s cycles were normal! (For comparison, 95 percent of non-exercising women’s cycles were normal.)

In another study that compared exercising and sedentary women, sedentary women were found to ovulate much more consistently than exercising women. Ninety-five percent of the sedentary women had consistently ovulatory cycles, compared to only 32 percent for the exercising women.

If these numbers seems shockingly high to you, you’re not alone. It’s difficult to appreciate how widespread this problem is because the impact of energy deficit on fertility is not always obvious.

The most extreme form of exercise-related menstrual disturbance is hypothalamic amenorrhea, where the cycle stops completely. If that happened to you, you’d probably notice (unless you were on hormonal birth control, which masks the symptoms). But there are other, subtler menstrual disturbances that can occur even when a woman is getting a regular period. These “silent” menstrual disturbances are not easily diagnosed, but they can still contribute to infertility (not to mention other serious health consequences).

Most women have no idea what’s going on in their cycles beyond when they get their period. And it’s not as easy as it seems for a doctor to uncover these problems, because it would require testing hormone levels at many different points throughout the cycle. The most important thing you can do to ensure your cycles are healthy is to learn how to track them.

Here’s the spectrum, in order of severity:

Luteal Phase Dysfunction

A normal luteal phase is 12 – 14 days. But with energy deficit, you may have a regular, ovulatory menstrual cycle, but your luteal phase is 10 days or less. Short luteal phases are often accompanied by prolonged follicular phases; you could have a textbook 28-day cycle, with a 21-day follicular phase and 7-day luteal phase. With luteal phase defects, chances of conceiving are diminished.


In an anovulatory cycle, estrogen doesn’t rise high enough to initiate the feedback loop that causes ovulation to occur. It’s possible to get your period regularly without ovulating (you can confirm whether your cycle is ovulatory by taking your temperature).

Irregular Cycles

Energy deficit can lead to long, irregular cycles that may be ovulatory or anovulatory. This condition is not well understood, and comes with highly erratic hormonal profiles. One of the most common causes of irregular cycles is PCOS, but energy deficit can also cause irregular cycles. Distinguishing whether irregular cycles are caused by energy deficit or PCOS is tricky and requires careful screening, but it’s important, because the treatment for PCOS and energy deficiency are not the same.

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

The most severe form of menstrual disturbance is the total cessation of the menstrual cycle. It’s impossible to get pregnant when you don’t have a cycle, and it comes with a variety of serious health consequences unrelated to fertility.

The Good News

If this post depresses you, don’t worry, there’s plenty of good news, too:

Exercise is not the problem!

Studies have looked at whether there is something intrinsically problematic about exercise itself, and the research seems to suggest that there is not. It’s really just about energy deficit. But given the high prevalence of menstrual dysfunction among ovulatory women, it seems that developing an energy deficit is much easier than many women realize. The good news here is that if you are vigilant about taking in enough calories to account for your activity levels, you should be able to maintain a healthy cycle.

Exercise does not appear to cause permanent damage to fertility.

When you fix the energy deficit, fertility should return completely intact. The process of recovery may take some time, and usually involves moving backwards along the spectrum mentioned above. That’s why it’s important to make sure that energy balance is restored completely, so you don’t end up in one of the subclinical recovery stages. (Restoring energy balance can take some time, and when you’re trying to conceive, you’re probably not at your most patient. Fertility medications can definitely help speed things up, but these are not usually effective unless you have already made a big dent in the energy deficiency on your own via reduced exercise and increased calories.)

If you need to gain weight, it may not be much!

The amount of weight that needs to be gained to regain healthy cycles is usually not exorbitant. Five or ten pounds may be all that stands between you and optimal health and fertility. Is fitting into size 0 jeans important enough to sacrifice those things?

*This post does not cover energy deficiency for women with BMI above 25. While it is still possible to develop menstrual disturbances from rapid increases in intense exercise and decreases in calories, there are also fertility benefits associated with gradual weight loss when one is overweight. This is a complex subject that we will tackle in another post!

By Lindsay Meisel | Jun 20, 2017 Tags: diet, exercise, fitness, trying to conceive, ttc, weight

Lindsay Meisel

L and P plate guide – New South Wales

Note: A revised process to go from learner to full licence holder was introduced in November 2017.

Obtaining a learners licence
To obtain your NSW Learner Licence you must be at least 16 years of age, pass an eyesight test and successfully undertake the state’s Driver Knowledge Test (DKT)

Demerit points apply to learner drivers. Your learner licence will be suspended or refused, if you reach or exceed 4 demerit points in a three-year period.

Obtaining a P1 licence
To apply for your P1 licence (Red P’s) in NSW, you must be at least 17 years of age, have held a learner licence for at least 12 months and have logged at least 120 hours of supervised driving time including at least 20 hours of night driving (unless you’re 25 or older) in your Learner Driver Log Book.

From November 20, 2017 a requirement of proceeding to a P2 licence is the successful passing of a Hazard Perception Test (HPT). If you are under 25 you must have held a P1 licence for 10 months before attempting this test. In addition to a practical driving test and a further eyesight test. Those with a P1 licence issued before November 20, 2017 and haven’t upgraded to a P2 licence will need to sit the HPT after holding a P1 licence for 12 months.

A P1 licence is valid for 18 months. If you’ve not progressed to a P2 licence at the end of the 15 months, you can renew your (P1) licence. You do not need to take the driving test but will need to pass the HPT again.

P1 drivers must observe a maximum speed limit of 90km/h, and observe the posted speed limit where it is below 90km/h. A 0.0 BAC applies and you may not supervise a learner driver.

P1 drivers may only carry the number of passengers that can be properly seated in seats and restrained by approved seat belts or child restraints. You can only drive vehicles that have a seat belt fitted to the driver’s position, and you must wear the seat belt.

All mobile-phone use while driving or while your vehicle is stopped, but not parked, is prohibited (including hands-free devices). In Sydney, P1 drivers must not drive in Parramatta Park and learners are barred from Centennial Park.

You may not tow any trailer more than 250kg (unloaded weight) and must display a P plate on the back of the trailer while towing.

Only drive automatic transmission vehicles, or clutchless manual vehicles, if you took your driving test in this type of vehicle. Your licence card will show the A034 condition on the front.

Any P1 driver who commits a speeding offence will be suspended for at least three months. An additional suspension or refusal period will apply for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h over the speed limit).

If you’re under 25 and hold a P1 licence, you must not drive a vehicle with more than one passenger (other than the driver) who is under 21, between 11pm and 5am

Restricted P1 licence pilot – remote areas
If you’re under 25 and live in a specified remote area, you can apply for a restricted P1 licence after you’ve logged only 50 hours practical driving experience (including at least 10 hours of night driving) in your Learner Driver Log Book.

The restricted P1 licence is designed to allow you to drive to work, education and medical related appointments. After six months, the restricted conditions will automatically expire, and the standard P1 rules will apply for the rest of your P1 licence period.

Obtaining a P2 licence and restrictions
Once you’ve held your provisional P1 licence for at least 12 months, you can attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). If you pass, you’ll be issued a provisional P2 licence (Green Ps).

P2 licence holders may use hands-free mobile phones for calls and audio only, and must observe a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h, and observe the posted speed limit where it’s below 100 km/h

BAC remains zero and you must ensure all occupants, including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted, and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint. You may not supervise learner drivers.

Prohibited vehicles
High performance vehicle restrictions apply for P1 and P2 drivers unless a specific exemption is granted and you can check online for eligible vehicles. You may apply for an exemption by attending a registry or service centre in person, completing the P1/P2 passenger or vehicle exemption form and paying the application fee.

Obtaining a full licence
If you held a P2 licence before November 20, 2017 and have not yet upgraded to a full licence, you will need to pass the Driver Qualification test (DQT) after holding your P2 licence for 24 months. After this date P2 driver licence holders do not have to pass the DQT.

To obtain a full licence in NSW you must have held a P2 licence for at least 24 months, pass an eyesight test and prove your identity.

Get more information on obtaining a licence in NSW

The National Guide on getting a drivers licence
Licence information for Australian Capital Territory
Licence information for Northern Territory
Licence information for New South Wales
Licence information for Queensland
Licence information for South Australia
Licence information for Tasmania
Licence information for Victoria
Licence information for Western Australia

GoGet Blog

It’s a hard truth, but young there’s a different set of rules for young people than for the rest of us. While that might seem unfair to the younger generation, some of those rules are there for a very good reason. The P plate restrictions and special rules in NSW are an example of that kind of rule.

Young and inexperienced drivers are statistically far more likely to be involved in a crash than older and experienced drivers. That’s especially so in the first few months of solo driving. As a result, the NSW Roads and Maritime service has made some strict rules around what learner and provisional drivers can and can’t do on the road.

But extra rules means extra confusion! This article will outline the P plate restrictions in NSW, and the rules P platers need to adhere to, above and beyond the general NSW road rules.

Getting your License in NSW

In New South Wales, you need to first get a learner license, then progress to your P1 license (your red P plates) and your P2 license (your green P plates). Once you’ve completed the two provisional stages, you can apply for a full license.

To get your learner license, you need to;

  • – Be at least 16 years old
  • – Pass the Driver Knowledge Test

To get your P1 license, you need to:

  • – Be at least 17 years old
  • – Have held a learner license for at least a year, unless you’re over 25 years old
  • – Have logged at least 120 hours of supervised driving time (including 25 hours driving at night), unless you’re over 25 years old
  • – Pass the Hazard Perception Test
  • – Pass the driving test

To get your P2 license, you need to:

  • – Have held your P2 license for at least 12 months

Once you’ve been on your green P’s for 24 months, you can apply for your unrestricted license. You can find more information about getting a NSW driver’s license here.

GoGet P Plate Restrictions

Unlike most car rental companies, GoGet welcomes P Plate drivers, as long as they’ve had a year’s solo driving experience. No matter your age, if you’ve had your P Plates for 12 months, you can join GoGet and use our cars. Using car share can be a great option for P Platers who don’t want the expense or hassle of owning a car, and want access to a range of vehicles like runabouts, SUVs, vans, and convertibles.

It goes without saying that GoGet members must comply with the road rules in the state they’re driving in. While we allow P Platers to drive any GoGet vehicle, the vehicle restrictions of various states may prohibit their use by P Platers. It’s member’s responsibility to check these rules – we’ve provided some links below.

Find your closest GoGet!

P Plate Restrictions in New South Wales

Red and Green P platers can only get 4 demerit points before they get their license suspended in NSW, far less than the 12 points it takes to suspend a full license. That means some offenses carry an immediate license suspension.

NSW Red P Plate Rules

  • – Red P platers cannot drive more than 90km/h.
  • – There is a 0.00% blood alcohol limit – you cannot have any alcohol in your system as a red P plater.
  • – All red P platers will get a 3 month suspension for ANY speeding offence, along with a fine. Drive slowly!
  • – All mobile phone use is banned for red P platers, including hands-free and speaker phone. It’s a 4 demerit point penalty, which means an automatic 3 month license suspension.
  • – Between 11pm and 5am, red P platers under 25 years old can only carry 1 passenger under the age of 21. You might be able to apply for an exception for work, family, or volunteering reasons – .
  • – If your red P plate license is disqualified you’ll only be able to carry 1 passenger at any time for 12 months after you get your license back.
  • – P plates must be attached to the outside of the car – they can’t be stuck to the inside of your window.
  • – Red P platers can tow loaded or unloaded trailers, but the trailer must be small – it must weight less than 250kg unloaded.
  • – Red P platers are restricted from driving high performance vehicles, like cars with a power to tare mass ratio of 130kW per tonne or greater, and cars with heavily modified engines. The RMS has a look-up tool here

NSW Green P Plate Rules

  • – Green P platers cannot drive more than 100km/h.
  • – There is a 0.00% blood alcohol limit – you cannot have any alcohol in your system as a green P plater.
  • – All mobile phone use is banned for green P platers, including hands-free and speaker phone. It’s a 4 demerit point penalty, which means an automatic 3 month license suspension.
  • – You’ll need to stay on your Green P’s for an extra 6 months if you get a license suspension for unsafe driving. You’ll get an extra extension for every suspension, not including the suspension period!
  • – Green P platers are restricted from driving high performance vehicles, like cars with a power to tare mass ratio of 130kW per tonne or greater, and cars with heavily modified engines. The RMS has a look-up tool here.

P Plates Restrictions : Frustrating, but there for a reason

Yes, these rules can be annoying, and sometimes make life more difficult. But they’re in place for a reason, and they’ve been designed to make life safer for you, your passengers, and fellow road users. That being said, NSW Transport, and the NSW RMS regularly review the rules, and they do change them, especially as we gain more insight from research into driving behaviour.

If you’re looking for a great way to get around as a P plater, one that doesn’t involve the hassle and cost of owning a private car, you should check out GoGet car share. With a huge range of vehicles across the country (over 2,600 in all) help you use the car you need for any trip. And it’s much cheaper than car hire for short and regular trips.

See our Rates!

P Plate Restrictions in other states:

P Plate Rules in Victora

The Rules

No driving between midnight and 5am


Applies to P1 licence holders and Learner motorcyclists under 25*.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 licence holders or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

* exemptions apply.

Read more about no driving between midnight and 5am.

Who is a qualified supervising driver?

They could be your mum or dad or someone else that has held a full driver’s licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. E.g.: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQs

Can I drive if I work night-shift?

Yes. You can drive between midnight and 5am to and from work by taking the shortest, most practicable route or in the course of doing your job.

Can I stop to get food or petrol on the way to or from work?

Yes, as long as you are taking the shortest, most practicable route between home and work.

More FAQs


All drivers have an increased risk of crashing when driving late at night but the risk is greater for young, inexperienced drivers. Inexperience in night driving as well as fatigue and risk taking are all contributing factors.

The figure below shows the drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes between 10 pm and 5 am as a percentage of all drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes in each age group before the rule was introduced.

As you can see, there was a very high percentage of younger drivers under 25.

Of the 16-19 year old drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes, 30% crashed between the hours of 10pm and 5am. This compared to 12% of drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.


No driving between midnight and 5am unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.


  • Driving between home and work or driving in the course of employment.
  • Driving between home and education/training or driving in the course of education/training if you are enrolled with a school, university, TAFE, apprenticeship or other formal training provider.
  • Driving between home and formal volunteer work or driving in the course of performing formal volunteer work.
  • Driving between home and an activity to participate in sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities provided by an organisation, association or club.

NOTE: You must take the shortest most practicable route between home and the activity.

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty.

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

What if there is an emergency?

If there’s a medical emergency, call an ambulance. Driving another person to the hospital places you under greater pressure and may also put others in danger.

More FAQs


Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2018) Expiation fee Victims of Crime Levy Total fee Demerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am $357 $60 $417 3
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20) $357 $60 $417 3
Driving with no visible P-Plates $357 $60 $417 2

You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.

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No more than one passenger aged 16-20


Applies to P1 Licence holders under the age of 25.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Who are immediate family members?

Your brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, step-parent, guardian, step-grandparent, spouse, domestic partner, child or a person related to you according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

More FAQs

Can I drive my friends to school?

Yes, but only one friend aged between 16 and 20. In addition, you could take your brother and/or sister because immediate family members are exempt.

More FAQs

They could be your Mum or Dad or someone else that has held a full driver’s licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. E.g.: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQs


Young drivers are four to five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when they have two or more similar aged passengers. Carrying passengers of a similar age can distract a young driver and encourage them to take greater risks.

The figure below shows the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes with 2 or more passengers in the vehicle as a percentage of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in each age group before the rule was introduced.

There was a very high percentage of younger drivers under 25.

Of the 16-19 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes, 25% were carrying two or more passengers at the time of the crash. This compared to 12% of drivers involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.

No more than one passenger aged 16-20 at any time of the day or night (immediate family members exempt), unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

Requirement to carry passengers in the course of employment.

NOTE: Passenger restriction exemptions are Not available for any other activities, including education/training, volunteering, sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities.

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty.

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2018) Expiation fee Victims of Crime Levy Total fee Demerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am $357 $60 $417 3
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20) $357 $60 $417 3
Driving with no visible P-Plates $357 $60 $417 2

You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.

For more information call 13 10 84.

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Hazard perception test for learners

Applies to all Learner’s Permit holders.

If you have a Learner’s Permit and you are going to apply for a P1 licence, you will need to first pass the Hazard Perception Test.

The HPT is a computer-based test to assess the driver’s ability to recognise dangerous situations and to react safely.


  • the most common crash types for provisional drivers
  • how to book a HPT
  • practise the test online.

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Time on Your Ps

The time you need to spend on a provisional licence is three years. One year on a P1 and two years on a P2 licence.

The longer a provisional licence holder is subject to provisional licence conditions helps to keep young drivers out of high risk situations and is likely to result in fewer crashes. The minimum age at which a driver can obtain a full driver’s licence is 20 years.

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When trying to conceive, it’s important to stay active and make exercise a part of your weekly routine.

Studies continue to show the importance of exercise and how it supports fertility and increases the chances of achieving pregnancy.

Regardless of your current fitness level, this day-by-day approach to exercise, with a daily schedule consisting of walking and a few exercises to be completed each day, is easy, fun, and effective.

This workout is intended for all women who want to introduce exercise into their weekly routines and fertility efforts.

It’s designed to be completed five times per week.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, you’ll be able to complete and enjoy these exercises on your way to being fit and fertile.


Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise consisting of the right balance of ease, accessibility, and physical benefit for improving your overall health and fertility.

More energy, decreased stress, and weight loss are just some of the benefits you can expect when beginning a weekly walking plan.

If you’re already running, swimming, taking Spinning classes or attending CrossFit, excellent!

Continue with what you’re already doing and perhaps consider adding walking to your current exercise plan.

What matters most is that you’re getting in some form of cardio exercise 5 times per week.

Get your walking done first thing in the morning. Not only will this give you more energy throughout the day, but you’ll also be rewarded with a healthy body that’s fit for pregnancy.

If first thing in the morning isn’t an option, make it a lunch time or evening walk. What matters most is that it gets done.

Make 30 minutes of walking 5 times per week part of your weekly exercise routine.


In addition to walking, incorporate exercises into your weekly plan, focusing on two specific exercises per day for all five days.

Day One – Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise increases heart rate and circulation throughout the body and as a result, it not only improves metabolism and circulation, both of which contribute to better egg production, but it also optimizes your reproductive system which secrete hormones that help eggs grow.

Two aerobic exercises to focus on today are Jumping Jacks and Low Laterals.

Complete these two exercises right before your daily walk or right afterwards if you feel more comfortable doing so. For a video demonstration on how to do each exercise, please see below:

Jumping Jacks Demonstration Video

Low Laterals Demonstration Video

Day Two – upper Body Exercises

Our upper body muscles consist of the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. While each of these muscles is responsible for different movements, they’re all required to work together for overall fluid, effective, and injury-free movement.

Strengthening your upper body muscles, especially the shoulders and back, gives us the strength necessary to maintain proper form and posture with all activity, avoiding potential injury.

Working the upper body muscles also has its benefits when it comes to strengthening the abs and core muscles which both play a pivotal role when it comes to pregnancy.

Two upper body exercises to focus on today are Push-Ups and Single Arm Tricep Press.

These two exercises work all 5 upper body muscle groups. For less intensity, do each exercise from your knees. For added intensity, do them both from your toes.

Complete these two exercises right after your daily walk or beforehand if you feel more comfortable doing so. For a video demonstration on how to do each exercise, please see below:

Push-Up Video Demonstration

Single-Arm Tricep Press Video Demonstration

Day Three – Lower Body Exercises

Our lower body muscles are the largest in the body. They provide a base of support as you walk, run and jump. They’re also essential for movements you perform in day-to-day activities.

Performing regular lower body exercises also helps to increase bone strength, improves balance, and helps you focus on letting go of daily stresses associated with your fertility.

The two lower body exercises to focus on today are Squats and Alternating Lunges.

These two exercises will work all of the major lower body muscle groups. Complete these two exercises right after your daily walk or beforehand if you feel more comfortable doing so. For a video demonstration on how to do each exercise, please see below:

Squats Video Demonstration

Alternating Lunges Video Demonstration

Day Four – Core Exercises

Our core is made up of a series of different muscle groups including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. Our core muscles are incorporated in almost every movement we make.

Exercising these core muscles leads to better balance and stability and plays a pivotal role when it comes to child birth. While strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from getting in and out of your car to bending down to tie your shoes, weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture and lower back pain, a no-no in preparation for pregnancy.

The two core exercises to focus on today are Abdominal Bicycles and Plank.

Both of these exercises target all of the different muscle groups that make up your core muscles. Complete these two exercises right after your daily walk or beforehand if you feel more comfortable doing so. For a video demonstration on how to do each exercise, please see below:

Abdominal Bicycle Demonstration

Plank Demonstration

Day Five – Agility Exercises

One of the most common reasons why people stop exercising is because they find their current exercise routine boring, making it a challenge to make the time for something that provides little-to-no enjoyment.

Agility exercises will make your workouts more challenging and engaging. They can be done at the gym, in your neighborhood park, running around cones, jumping over hurdles, literally anywhere.

The two agility exercises to focus on today are Squat-Jab-Punch and Hill Climbers.

Both of these exercises are more challenging than the previous four days and require lots more effort and coordination. Complete these two exercises right after your daily walk or beforehand if you feel more comfortable doing so. For a video demonstration on how to do each exercise, please see below:


Hill Climbers

Here’s a breakdown of what an entire week looks like following this exercise plan:


30 Minutes of Walking / 1 Minute of Jumping Jacks / 1 Minute of Low Laterals


30 Minutes of Walking / 20 Push-ups / 20 Single Arm Tricep Presses (10 each side)


30 Minutes of Walking / 20 Squats / 20 Alternating Lunges


30 Minutes of Walking / 20 Abdominal Bicycles / 1 Minute Plank (or until fatigue)


30 Minutes of Walking / 20 Squat-Jab-Punch / 20 Hill Climbers


Active Day – Do something fun like a hike, swim, surfing, tennis, bike ride, etc. for 60 minutes


Rest Day – Focus on rest, eating healthy, hydrating, and getting ready for another week ahead.

This seven day plan is the perfect balance between exercising the body enough to help support fertility and not too vigorous where you risk lowering fertility and the chances of conceiving.

Follow this seven day plan and you will be well on your way to being fit and fertile.

You’re awesome!


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Physical exercise and fertility

If you feel that your improved fertility is something that stays even if you discontinue your workout regime, you are mistaken. Once the study was terminated, the quality of the sperms went back to usual. So, this shows that a regular workout is needed for results to stay.

An interesting factor to be noticed is that the group which had moderate intensity of exercises showed the most improvement when compared to all the other groups, despite the fact that the other groups might have performed more exercise. More might not always mean better.

When a separate group was formed, which continued with intense exercise for prolonged durations, the results were once more baffling. The sperm count was observed to have reduced! it was clearly seen that excessive exercising also negatively impacted male fertility.

How does this work? Exercise and Fertility

According to experts, the mechanism of how this phenomenon actually works is not clearly understood, but it is clear that hormonal levels play an important role. There are variations in the levels of two main hormones: gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and testosterone(T).

The two hormones are vital for the fertility of males and the variation of their levels in the blood is the deciding feature. When the moderate intensity of exercises was performed, there were changes in the metabolic stress factors and lowered DNA damages.

When the amount of exercise was increased beyond a point, the fertility decreased. One of the main reasons for this is believed to be due to the increased body heat. Sperms require a lower body temperature to survive. They are very sensitive to temperature changes. This is the main reason why they are stored outside the body, in testicles, where the temperature is lower than the body temperature.

While performing high-intensity exercises, the body temperature rises much more than the sperms can withstand. This reduces their motility and soon changes the biochemical composition. Not only this, but scientists have observed lowered hormonal levels while performing strenuous exercises which affect the number of sperms.

Researchers debate that the outcome of the survey is greatly influenced by genetics. Human beings are creatures which are not meant to be idle couch potatoes but at the same time, are not to fatigue ourselves beyond a point. This is why regular, simple exercises like treadmill, maintained over a prolonged duration would be greatly beneficial.

Who would it work for?

To answer the question, would it work for all, is difficult as everyone’s physical and genetic make-up is variable. Not everyone may see the same results and some may not see any results at all.

Also, each case of infertility is different from the other. There are varieties of infertility that cannot be corrected merely through Physical exercise and fertility. They may require surgical or medical therapies and even hormone therapies to lead a fertile life. Some others may also have permanent deficiencies which cannot be treated.

It is important to understand the problem one has so that the best-suited treatment plan can be chalked out. It is also very important to understand that exercise is not a treatment but simply an adjunct to improve fertility.

Someone with absolute infertility will not benefit sexually by Physical exercise and fertility.

What is the best-suited workout for better fertility or best exercise of fertility?

As we saw from the researches conducted, high intensity workouts may burn those extra calories, but if the main aim is to improve your fertility, you might want to stick to the moderately intense workouts for a reasonable duration. A short workout of cardio combined with weights would suffice the need. Some of the familiar workouts that seem to have a stronger positive impact on sperm count are:

  • Lunges
    • Planks
    • Glute bridges
    • Pelvic thrust
    • Squats
  • So, what are you waiting for? Getting those swimmers ready is not a very difficult task anymore!

What are the other ways of improving fertility?

While exercising is one of the healthiest and natural ways to boost one’s fertility, there are many small changes that would make a difference in a man’s sex life. Some of those are:

  • Quit smoking and increased alcoholism
    • Avoid tight clothes, especially undergarments.
    • Avoid increasingly hot water baths
    • Reduce cholesterol levels and maintain the blood lipid content.
    • Avoid excessive exercising
    • Avoid sexually transmitted diseases by always using protection.
    • Have a nutritious diet which includes more of vitamin C
    • Practice stress relieving techniques like meditation and yoga
    • Increase intake of fenugreek
    • Increase intake of vitamin D and zinc
    • If none of the natural methods works, it is time to get a consultation and begin a more professional course of treatment.

Now that we have this piece of information, let’s implement physical exercise into our everyday schedule so that we not only lose a few pounds and get that toned look, but also benefit in the bedroom while we’re at it.

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Female athletes and infertility

Hard workouts can temporarily reduce a woman’s fertility

Are you a female athlete – or just someone who likes challenging workouts — who also wants to get pregnant? It may make sense to ease off a bit as you try, according to new research from NTNU.

Roughly seven per cent of all Norwegian women are believed to have infertility problems, which means that they are unable to become pregnant during the first year of trying – even if they might later become pregnant.

Infertility can have many causes, both medical and lifestyle-related. Known risk factors include smoking, stress, and alcohol. Being extremely under- or overweight can also play a role.

It is known, however, that elite sports women have more fertility problems than other women. But does extreme physical activity play a role in fertility among other women as well? NTNU researchers examined precisely this question in a study involving nearly 3,000 women. They found that overly frequent and hard physical exercise appears to reduce a young woman’s fertility. But the decrease in fertility probably lasts only as long as the hard training.

Two vulnerable groups
The study was based on material from the Health Survey of Nord-Trøndelag from 1984-1986 and from a follow-up survey in 1995-1997. All of the women who participated were healthy and of childbearing age, and none had a history of fertility problems.

In the first survey, women responded to questions about the frequency, duration and intensity of their physical activity – and ten years later were asked questions about pregnancy and childbirth. The NTNU researchers also recorded other information that could have significance for the study.

“Among all these women, we found two groups who experienced an increased risk of infertility,” says Sigridur Lara Gudmundsdottir, a PhD candidate in NTNU’s Human Movement Science Programme. “There were those who trained almost every day. And there were those who trained until they were completely exhausted. Those who did both had the highest risk of infertility.”

Age an important factor
If the women also were under 30 years old in the first study, the relationship became even more evident in both groups. Among those who reported training to exhaustion (regardless of frequency and duration), 24 per cent had fertility problems. In the group that had trained almost every day (regardless of the intensity and duration), 11 per cent reported the same.

Even when the data were adjusted for other possible contributing factors (such as body mass index, smoking, age, marital status and previous pregnancies), the researchers found that women who trained every day had a 3.5 times greater risk of impaired fertility as women who did not train at all.

“And when we compared those who trained to exhaustion to those who trained more moderately, we found that the first group had a three-fold greater risk of impaired fertility,” says Gudmundsdottir.

In women who reported moderate or low activity levels, researchers found no evidence of impaired fertility.

A transient effect
But the negative effects of hard training do not appear to be permanent, the researcher says.

“The vast majority of women in the study had children in the end. And those who trained the hardest in the middle of the 1980s were actually among those who had the most children in the 1990s,” she adds.

There may be various explanations for why the women who first were least fertile ended up with the most children. “We do not know if they changed their activity level during the period between the two surveys. Or if they just had trouble getting pregnant the first time, but afterwards had a hormonal profile that made it easier to get pregnant again,” Gudmundsdottir said.

Too demanding?
Scientists have a theory that high levels of physical activity are so energy intensive that the body actually experiences short periods of energy deficiency, where there simply is not enough energy to maintain all the necessary hormonal mechanisms that enable fertilization.

On the other hand, previous research shows that moderate physical activity gives women better insulin function and an improved hormonal profile – and thus better conditions for fertility – than total inactivity, particularly in overweight people.

Forget the easy chair
But Gudmundsdottir says that women who want to become pregnant shouldn’t give up all physical activity.

“We believe it is likely that physical activity at a very high or very low level has a negative effect on fertility, while moderate activity is beneficial,” she says.

But as far as identifying how much is “just right”, the researcher is careful. “An individual’s energy metabolism is a very important factor in this context. The threshold can be very individual,” Gudmundsdottir says.

She also recommends that physically active women be particularly aware of their menstrual cycles. “A long cycle or no menstruation at all is danger signals,” she says.

“Fat is metabolically active — it makes estrogens,” Grazi told Reuters Health.

That extra estrogen can suppress other hormones responsible for ovulation, he said. This can lead to cycle irregularity and even amenorrhea, or lack of menstruation.

On the other hand, it’s not clear why lean women who exercise vigorously may take longer to become pregnant, said Wise.

Having too little body fat may be a factor for some women. Competitive female athletes and very underweight women, for example, are known to experience menstrual irregularities.

Exercise may also affect the fertilized egg’s ability to implant in the uterus. One previous study of women undergoing in vitro fertilization found a higher risk of implantation failure among women who did a lot of running or bicycling.

Very lean women who do vigorous exercise, such as marathon training, several hours a week, and are trying to become pregnant, may want to cut back to more moderate activities, Wise said.

“I recommend exercise to all my patients, and a moderate level is always best for conception and pregnancy,” said Dattel.

Is Exercise Safe During the Implantation Stage of Pregnancy?

When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s common to wonder whether exercise will interfere with conception. You may think that the bouncing, jumping and wriggling might jostle an egg right out of place. However, according to Drs. Aniruddha and Anjali Malpani, authors of the book “How to Have a Baby: Overcoming Infertility,” physical activity during the implantation phase does not affect your chances of conception. Nonetheless, the doctors advise women to take the path of least regret: if you think you might blame yourself for failing to conceive because you exercised during the implantation phase, don’t exercise.

What Happens During Implantation?

At the implantation phase of pregnancy, the sperm and egg have already met, the egg has been fertilized and, now called a zygote, has traveled down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. The implantation phase officially begins when the zygote reaches the uterus and burrows, or implants, into the uterine wall and the placenta begins to form. For women undergoing in-vitro fertilization, the implantation phase begins once the fertilized eggs, which are normally referred to as blastocysts, are transferred to her uterus.

Exercise and Implantation

Although you may worry the embryo will have trouble burrowing into the wall or could “fall out” during exercise, this is not the case. Drs. Malpani and Malpani call the uterus a “potential space,” meaning it becomes a space only as a baby grows inside of it, just as a balloon only contains space when it is inflated. Prior to pregnancy, the uterus is completely closed inside with all the walls touching each other. Therefore, when a fertilized egg is arrives inside the uterus, it is firmly held within the uterine walls. Gravitational forces cannot cause it to fall out.

Exercise While Trying to Conceive

Most healthy women can continue with their normal exercise routines while trying to conceive. In fact, a moderate amount of exercise can be beneficial to fertility in that it reduces stress, helps you maintain a healthy weight and may even boost blood circulation to your reproductive organs. However, too much exercise can be detrimental to fertility. Excessive exercise can inhibit ovulation and affect your menstrual cycles, which will interfere with conception.

Exercise During IVF

Many doctors and women become more cautious about exercise during the in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, process. Reproductive endocrinologists often advise their female patients to refrain from or severely restrict exercise during the implantation period because they want to minimize any stress on the body during this already emotionally stressful time. Many women forgo exercise during this time because they want to eliminate any factor that has the slightest potential of interfering with implantation.

Beneficial Exercises

If you want to exercise during the implantation phase but still worry that it might disrupt implantation, try some mild exercises that do not jar the body excessively. The American Pregnancy Association recommends low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, stationary cycling and yoga.

Exercise for fertility

19th July 2019

There is much discussion on what is the best exercise for fertility. At Adia, we know that a healthy lifestyle is a huge part of preconception care. Exercise is a large part of that! No matter whether you are an athlete or someone that hates the gym, a bit of exercise can really help your chances of conceiving.

In this blog

Does exercise increase fertility?

Keeping active is a one of the best and most simple ways to increase fertility. Research has found that women who do regular, moderate exercise get pregnant more quickly than those who don’t.

Staying active during your pregnancy can help you to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, reducing problems such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. It can also help to boost your mood and lessen your risk of mental health problems like depression.

Exercise can also help you achieve a healthy BMI. If you are overweight, especially if your weight gain is due to PCOS, it can make getting pregnant harder. Introducing exercise for fertility in to your daily routine, and combining it with a balanced diet, will help you lose weight. However, it’s also important to note that having a BMI that is too low can also negatively impact your fertility. Your doctor will be able to advise you what BMI you should be aiming for.

Check out our blog on PCOS and pregnancy to learn more about the impact of polycystic ovary sydrome on fertiliy.

Whilst it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much exercise impacts fertility, we all know being active will make you healthier. The healthier you are the more chance you have of conceiving naturally!

Can we exercise when trying to conceive?

In most cases you can, and should, exercise whilst trying to conceive. Exercise not only improves your fertility, but it also prepares your body for pregnancy. Getting in to a good fitness routine before getting pregnant will also improve your self esteem.

Body image can unfortunately sometimes be an issue for pregnant women. Exercise can help you feel confident, healthy and happy as your body grows and changes.

Is walking good while trying to conceive?

Walking is a fantastic way to get active when you’re trying to conceive, especially if you’re initiating a fitness routine. Low impact exercise like walking is low risk, but can still get your heart rate up. Investing in a pedometer or fit bit, is a great way to keep you motivated and track your progress.

It’s recommended to be active at least 30 minutes a day, and talking a 10 minute walk three times counts! It’s also easy to incorporate walking in to your daily life. Get off one stop earlier during your commute or walk to the supermarket rather than driving – your steps will soon add up!

Can running cause infertility?

If you are a regular runner then you should be totally fine to continue with your routine when trying to conceive. However, there are cases when exerting yourself and pushing your running limits could impact your fertility.

The key is to keep an eye on your menstrual cycle. If you start to have abnormal cycles or miss periods, you should speak to your doctor about your fitness routine. This can sometimes happen if your tough training causes your BMI to get too low. If your BMI is the low end of twenty or below, it might be advisable to try and put on a little bit of weight.

Women who are running extreme amounts each week, such as athletes or those training for marathons, are occasionally told to reduce the amount their running if it starts to impact their cycle. This ps partly because women who exercise have been shown to have lower progesterone levels in the luteal phase. This is the phase that follows ovulation and prepares the uterine lining for implantation, so is very important for conception.

If you have never run before, but are keen to get fit and healthy ahead of pregnancy, start small and build yourself up. Couch to 5k is a great way to safely and sustainably bring running in to your fitness regime.

Does running affect sperm count?

There are conflicting theories about the impact of running on sperm count. Essentially it comes down to the old adage ‘you can have too much of a good thing’.

On one hand, it seems a certain amount of exercise – running in particular – can increase your sperm count. One recent study shows that men who run for 15 hours or so a week have sperm concentrations up to 73 percent higher than sedentary men. They also have a higher sperm count. The theory goes that regular exercise increases the amount of testosterone the body produces – positively impacting sperm production.

However, there are other studies that imply that too much vigorous exercise can negatively effect sperm health. In the study, men who ran 67 miles or more each week – suffered from lower sperm quality and a 28% drop in testosterone. As with everything when it comes to exercise and fertility, a certain amount is beneficial but never take it too far.

Is it safe to do yoga while trying to conceive?

It is definitely safe to practice yoga whilst you are trying to conceive. Yoga is great for encouraging conception – and there are actually yoga poses for fertility!

As a low impact exercise, yoga is a great way to get active, especially if you are not that sporty. Yoga is not only helpful for the physical side of things, but is great for your mental health. There is a clear link between fertility and stress, so the calming nature of yoga is perfect for those on the journey to motherhood.

Even when you fall pregnant you can still continue your practice. Instructors are well trained to help advise pregnant women of poses that are safe for them to hold whilst carrying a baby.

Three top tips for being more active

Incorporate exercise into your daily routine

Start by doing any moderate activity that will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and feel warmer. But physical activity doesn’t have to be an exercise class in the gym or a long run. You can keep active by doing anything that will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and make you feel warmer.

Try getting off the train at an earlier stop, and walking the remaining distance to work or home. Other hobbies and activities such as gardening or dancing count too!

Mix in some strength exercises twice a week (or more!)

Try and work all of the major muscles as you prepare your body for pregnancy – pregnancy puts strain on the body, and you may find it easier to cope with if you are fit, strong and flexible. It has also been shown that labour is easier for women who are active during pregnancy.

Strength exercises might be lifting weights, working with resistance bands, yoga, pilates. To get the health benefits from strength exercises you should do them until you get to the point where you struggle to do any more.

Start to introduce more vigorous activities

This means any exercise that makes you breathe hard and fast, and where you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

Good examples include: jogging or running, aerobics, spinning. A small amount of women who exercise vigorously on most days of the week, such as competitive athletes, may be advised to cut their exercise for fertility to a moderate level if they are having problems getting pregnant.

How much exercise should I do?

Think about how much physical activity you should do in relation to your current exercise routines, as well as your BMI. For example, if you have a high BMI and are planning to get pregnant, exercise may improve chances of conception by helping you lose weight. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t take it too far and become underweight. As mentioned earlier, a BMI that is too low is just as bad for fertility as one that is too high.

If you have always been moderately active – continue to exercise at the same level to stay healthy. And if you’ve not been active before, start to build up your level of activity little by little from now!

Exercise during ovulation

Exercising during ovulation is absolutely fine, and actually probably good for you. Exercising release endorphins which are real stress busters. Endorphins contracts the affects of stress hormone such cortisol. An increase in cortisol can impact the hormones involved in eg release, so keeping stress at bay during ovulation is a great idea. If you want to know when you are ovulating, there are multiple fertile signs you can look out for.

Exercise during IVF

Whilst it is generally ok to work out whilst trying to conceive, the exception to this can be if you are going through IVF.

One study found that women who were active during the process were no more likely to have a successful pregnancy than those who did no exercise. They actually found that intense exercise could negatively impact fertility and the chances of IVF working. The study found that women who worked out more than 4 hours a week were 40% less likely to give birth. They were also twice as likely to experience pregnancy loss or implantation failure.

Some doctors will recommend avoiding exercise completely during certain stages of the IVF process. You may be advised to refrain from working out for a week or so before egg retrieval and up to 10 weeks after embryos transfer.

What should I eat to get pregnant fast?

The most important thing is for you to have a healthy balance diet. However, there are certain vitamins that have been proven to help boost fertility.

It’s important to increase the amount of vitamin D in your diet, if you’re trying to get pregnant. You can find it in foods including mushrooms, egg yolk and fish. Vitamin D can help symptoms of endometriosis and PCOS, and can regulate your menstrual cycle.

Folic acid is another key element of a preconception diet. This is because it helps protect from birth defects that occur very early in pregnancy. Many women don’t know they’re pregnant for the first few weeks, so it’s important to prepare your body beforehand.

Folic acid, or folate in its naturally occurring form – can be found in leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Many women take folic acid supplements to help support their daily intake.

For more information on what to eat when trying to conceive, and lots of other advice and guidance on a healthy preconception lifestyle, join the Adia platform. Adia offers free support from experts, a nutrition programme and plenty of other features including meditation podcasts and at home fertility testing.

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